Nestled in the corner of a Teesside enterprise centre is a growing company that’s in the business of generating smiles.
Daisy and Bump, run by husband and wife Chris and Jessie Bowman, specialises in children’s nursery illustrations and in the last year their turnover has smashed through the £100,000 mark.
The majority of the turnover is from online sales and they export across the globe.
Their biggest customers outside the UK are the USA and Australia.
Daisy and Bump launched in 2013 is one of more than 250 businesses receiving free help and support from the Enterprise Team, part of Redcar and Cleveland Council.
Jessie said: “The business coaches have been fantastic providing us with advice on all kinds of things including marketing and accounting.
“It’s also just reassuring to know there is someone at the end of a phone should we run into problems or need some guidance.”
The business, which is based at Palace Hub in Redcar, began thanks to Jessie’s artistic talent.
Both she and Chris studied fashion design at university in London but the 27-year-old struggled to find her niche in the industry and spent several years working in retail.
In her spare time she started drawing animal characters, using her sister’s rescue rabbit Phantom as her inspiration.
The character of Daisy the Rabbit was born and was soon accompanied by Bumperton the Elephant, or Bump for short.
Jessie’s creations have proven incredibly popular and online sales of her prints have increased steadily over the last 12 months.
Customers are able to order prints on the company’s website or through external sites including Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet.
“It’s all taken off so fast we’ve hardly had chance to catch our breath but the help from Enterprise Team has kept us on track, including being VAT registered.”
The company is also providing work experience to student Beth Robson, 20, a textiles and surface design student from CCAD.
Councillor Mark Hannon, Redcar and Cleveland Council cabinet member for economic development, said: “Daisy and Bump is a great example of someone having an idea for a business and doing all they can to make sure it becomes a success, including accessing the free programme of support available from the Enterprise Team.
“This is another example of how the local authority is playing a key role in supporting local businesses.”
The Enterprise Team offers Redcar and Cleveland businesses at least 12 hours of free tailored support.
Made up of skilled business coaches, the team is focused on helping companies across the borough to achieve their goals, including moving premises, increasing their turnover and improving profitability.
In addition to supporting businesses the Enterprise Team has also held scores of free pre-start workshops, enabling hundreds of residents to realise their dream of running their own business or exploring the possibility of self-employment.
The team also holds a free business forum each month, allowing companies to network, hear from guest speakers, enjoy a bite to eat, and chat to the business coaches.
Find out more about the Enterprise Team at www.theenterpriseteam.co.uk