inCONVERSATION with Nikki Hollier
OUR MAKE IT HAPPEN CHALLENGE WINNER SOWS THE SEEDS OF SUCCESS
Nikki Hollier, founder of Border in a Box, which creates easy to use garden border design kits, has capitalised on a number of exciting opportunities to grow her business since winning our WINN Make It Happen Challenge last year.
In March 2017 Nikki entered our ‘Make it Happen Challenge’, where inventors were invited to submit their ideas. Border in a Box was declared the winner, and received the £12,000 prize, made up of a £5,000 cash reward, together with packages from the Make It Happen sponsors totalling £1,000 each.
The sponsors included : Brand Refinery, Charles Lovell & Co, Jim Clark Advisory, Mercian Events, Scattermedia, SME Solicitors, and Terry Livesey Photography.
Nikki soon put the prize fund to good use, primarily to create and show a garden border at the BBC Gardeners’ World Live event at the NEC in June 2018.
Nikki’s wellbeing themed design, entitled ‘Jar of Life’, won a Platinum award and Best Border, and was also featured on television. The impact of the event didn’t end there, as Solus Decor, the company responsible for the water feature in Nikki’s garden, were so impressed with her border and catalogue of awards, which by now also included Country Homes & Interiors My Country Business Award 2017 and Theo Paphitis’s Small Business Sunday, that they have invited her to create their garden border at their trade stand at RHS Chelsea in 2019.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity and can’t believe how quickly things have moved.. Winning the WINN Challenge was the perfect confidence booster at a time when I really needed to push my business forward. It gave me the reassurance that people believed in me and my brand and it enabled me to meet other innovative individuals, some of whom have provided me with invaluable support and guidance on my branding, packaging and PR.”
Nikki acknowledges that setting up and running a small business has its challenges but also that there are many great programmes and initiatives out there that can provide support:
“It’s hard being in business on your own, as you need reassurance that you are doing the right things. Showing my border design at BBC Gardeners’ World Live was a real highlight, it was such a fabulous experience that boosted my confidence even further.”
The remaining funds from the WINN challenge enabled Nikki to rebrand and redesign her packaging, which she launched recently at the Autumn Fair. Exhibiting here thanks to winning a free stand as part of Theo Paphitis’s #SBS initiative, Nikki was able to forge relationships with several gift shops and retailers who have since agreed to stock Border in a Box products.
“I’ve learned, from the fantastic support I’ve had, that it’s all about putting yourself out there and I couldn’t have done this without the confidence boost that originated from the WINN Make it Happen Challenge and the all the people who have believed in me and my brand since I started Border in a Box eighteen months ago.”
Not content to rest on her laurels, Nikki is looking at new markets for her products and has gone back to the root of her brand. Border in a Box was inspired by Nikki’s own experience of moving into a new build house and not knowing what to do with the uninspiring garden.
“I’m really excited about the future and possible collaborations on the horizon. I’m currently exploring ways to work with housebuilders to offer Border in a Box products as housewarming gifts or add-ons when choosing a new home. I’ll also be trialling garden hampers at the Country Homes & Interiors Christmas fayre to see which products recipients would find most appealing to complement their Border in a Box set.”
Anyone wanting more information on Border in a Box can visit the website borderinabox.com.
WINN brings innovators together, acting as a catalyst to create connections and collaborations across the diverse business landscape of Worcestershire.
Our belief is that great things can happen when people get together.
WINN is a Worcestershire Innovation Programme formed by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire LEP