Birdbrook Rosettes Ltd
About Birdbrook Rosettes
Established in 1973 by Charles Allen, Birdbrook Rosettes is a family-run business that designs and manufactures high quality rosettes. Inspired by the family dog - a flat-coated retriever named Prince - Charles decided to narrow his giftware business to focus on animal rosettes after realising there was a gap in the market.
Over the past 45 years, Birdbrook has produced rosettes for well-known animal-focused events and competitions, including the annual Crufts Dog Show. Their top-quality products have also appeared on film in The Iron Lady (2011) and were transformed into invites for the world premiere of Best in Show (2000) at London's Leicester Square.
The process of creating rosettes involves sewing ribbon to the card at the back of the product. The previous sewing machines that Birdbrook were using meant that workers had to cut the thread by hand, prolonging the production process. Although this only added seconds onto each rosette, over the course of a year the time mounted up and meant efficiency took a hit.
How they received the grant
Charles decided to apply to Grants4Growth after spotting an advert on Facebook about the opportunity for grant funding. After expressing an interest, a Grants4Growth adviser assisted him with the process of applying for funding, and within a couple of weeks their application was before the panel.
Using the money he received from the programme, Charles was able to purchase higher quality sewing machines, speeding up sewing times and automating the thread cutting process. Charles estimates Birdbrook Rosettes are now 20% more efficient, which means that production, and ultimately sales, can grow.
With faster machinery and a brand-new factory, Charles is now focussing on improving the business's social media presence. He is also introducing his daughter to the ins-and-outs of the business, so that she is ready to take over the running of Birdbrook Rosettes when he retires.
"It's the simplest approval and fastest payment of grant I've ever had." - Charles Allen, Managing Director at Birdbrook Rosettes