Business owner celebrates national award win after setting up Derbyshire company following lockdown redundancy

The owner of a Derbyshire based illustration and garden company is celebrating success after being named the winner of a national competition.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 1:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 1:09 pm

DerbyshirepPermaculture and garden design business Flora Fauna Folk took home a £10,000 cash prize after being named the winner of Gumtree UK’s Small Business Blast Off Competition.

The awards were designed by the advertisement website earlier this year to commend small businesses for their resilience, adaptability and innovation during the pandemic.

Maddie Raithby set up the business which specialises in illustration, planners along with garden design services after she was made redundant during the first lockdown in 2020.

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Derbyshire based permaculture and garden design business Flora Fauna Folk was named as the winner of Gumtree UK's Small Business Blast Off Competition. Credit: Instagram @florafaunafolk.

The business owner also created a range of materials to allow people to better enjoy the earth and create an alternative revenue stream while she was unable to work.

She started a network to support other creatives and local communities, an “inspirational” move which impressed the judges along with Maddie’s ambition and commitment to helping build a sustainable future that helps residents.

Hannah Rouch, chief marketing officer at Gumtree UK, commented: “Maddie’s entry stood out immediately.

"Her positivity, creativity and innovation is inspirational, and we’re so pleased to be able to support the next steps for her business with this prize.

Maddie Raithby set up the business after she was made redundant during the first lockdown in 2020. Credit: Instagram @florafaunafolk.

"We understand that she has plans to convert a van so that she can work with more people and communities across the country and we can’t wait for her to take more of her work on the road.

“We have to send a heartfelt congratulations to all of our winners on this achievement.

"The response we received from small businesses was absolutely incredible, and we were humbled by the stories we heard.

"We received entries from people who hustled to open up new revenue streams, found ways to work more closely in their community and who dedicated their time to supporting others.

She sells illustrations and planners to customers online. Credit: Instagram @florafaunafolk.

"This competition really demonstrated why small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy and why it is so important that they are supported to make the most of the opportunities now that restrictions have eased around the UK.”

Allie Lawson, Head of SMB Brand & Marcomms at Virgin Media O2 said: “It was great to see such a strong field of entries in the Small Business Blast Off Competition.

"SMEs across the UK have had a tough last 18 months, but we are seeing many bounce back and this is a great way to support that journey.

"O2 Business is committed to working with our SME customers to provide the best flexible tariffs and tools, as well as rolling over unused data every month, and I’d like to congratulate Flora Fauna Folk, Mirka Bridal Couture and Messy Nessy Playcentre Ltd who were thoroughly deserving of their recognition.”

The Flora Fauna Folk creative also received a small business boost package including prizes from Tide, O2 Business, SumUp and Builder.ai. along with an advertising package on Gumtree worth £3,000.

Runners-up Mirka Bridal Couture based in Kirkcaldy and Messy Nessy Playcentre located in Thurso, both in Scotland, along with a further 10 businesses, were all gifted a Gumtree Blast-Off package and Tide, O2 Business and SumUp Partners Blast-Off packages.

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