Start-ups pitch to John Lewis buyers
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...impressed with the standard of entry. We were particularly keen to find new products that offer innovation, function and unique design combined with a commercial edge. We look forward to learning more about the finalists and their products during the pitching process, they have already shown so much potential and it is an exciting opportunity for both our buyers and the startups themselves.”
Selected finalists will benefit from expert mentoring from the John Lewis buyers and will include practical guidance and assistance to help develop and prepare a polished final design that is ready for sale.
Julia Hunter, who once headed-up a team of ten men as a high flying gilt trader at the London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE), set up Oily Rag when she gave up her job to become a mum.
Mum-of-three, Julia said: “To have the chance to show my products to John Lewis is amazing! The feedback and tips that I will receive will be invaluable in helping me to continue the growth of Oily Rag. If they decide to stock my waterproof cushions, then I would feel like I had achieved one of my goals.”
She came up with the idea of waterproof cushions when she wanted to have five minutes peace in the garden, without having to remember to bring the cushions back in afterwards.
She said: “I wanted some cushions that I could leave outside on my tatty garden bench all the time, so whenever I had a moment for a sneaky coffee in the garden, I didn’t have to get the cushions out, and then remember to put them away! I also wanted something to bring some life to my garden, when it was drab and grey. My cushions now provide loads of vibrant colour, even if the flowers aren’t out.”
PitchUp could be the big break... continued on page three >