A West Yorkshire-based hand-made jewellery designer has been named as a finalist in the search to find the UK’s best small business.
Iain Henderson Designs, based in Bingley, was named best micro-business in the region, beating off stiff competition to become overall best small business for the North East and Yorkshire at the 2014 FSB WorldPay UK Business Awards.
The bespoke gems craftsman has been awarded £500 and will now go onto the glittering national final where they could win almost £10,000 as overall UK winner.
More than 950 businesses entered the awards this year.
When the business launched four years ago, the firm originally supplied independent stores with its hand-made jewellery, but when the recession hit, sales fell and the company switched to the wedding market.
Since then the company has gone from strength to strength by offering a more personalised service.
Brides-to-be can visit the firm’s studio and have a ring made to their exact specifications.
If they select a stone, skilled staff will design a ring around it. In particular, the company specialises in designing rings around unusually shaped gems.
Business owner Iain Henderson said:
“You can’t get a service like ours in any High Street store. If a customer asked for this sort of service they would send it to someone like us, but the ring can be away for a few weeks.
“If the client comes straight to us we can do it all in one day.
“We want clients to choose their engagement ring from us and then think about how it will look next to their wedding ring once they are married, and then hopefully also think about an eternity ring.
“It’s important to visualise how they will all look sitting next to each other on the hand.”
On hearing that he was in the running to be chosen as the UK’s best small business, he said:
“It’s great to be recognised for all the hard work that has gone on over the last three to four years. It shows that it pays off in the end.”
Colin Willman, chairman FSB (Member Services) Ltd, said:
“The FSB WorldPay UK Business Awards are designed to raise the profile of small businesses across the UK and to highlight the crucial role they play in supporting the economy.
“We’ve had a high number of top quality entries this year and it’s a great achievement for Iain Henderson Designs to have been selected as overall winner for the North East and Yorkshire.”
Ron Kalifa, deputy chairman of WorldPay said:
“For too long small businesses were struggling through recession, hit hard by a consumer spending dip and financial pressures.
“Iain Henderson Designs has weathered the storm by adapting to new markets and driving innovation – their fighting spirit is at the heart of economic recovery. WorldPay is proud to recognise and reward these entrepreneurs.”