CPG Executive Consulting’s Festive Cheer event saw more than 54 people attend to safely celebrate their 2021 business achievements. The applications had surpassed our expectations with thoroughly impressive efforts to grow and develop their businesses during what has, and continues to be, one of the toughest times to be in business. The Phoenix Programme sponsored by Richmond Borough Council has supported 799 businesses throughout the past year. Most businesses were SME’s with only one person running the show, proving that small is mighty in the 2021 business space.
Helen presented the awards and commended the winners and all entrants, raising a glass to everyone involved in making 2021 a business year to remember and Ray handed out the awards and trophies to the winners.
Creative Business of the Year – Recognising the best of creatives in Richmond.
Winner – NOSTAIRWAY
Robert Marshall comments, “Nostairway Creative has served local businesses with creative media production for 20 years. We have provided TV and online ads, training videos, product launch videos, event videos and more. We employ local talent first for all our creative endeavours from role play sales training to global ad campaigns. This year saw the first feature film to come from the Nostairway stable. We are immensely proud of this feat, particularly as the film has been recognised by five film festivals to date, culminating in winning the ‘Best Music In A Film’ award from the prestigious Sochi International Film Festival And Awards in Russia.”
Highly commended – Aligned Design Co
Aligned Design Co. is a creative design studio. Headed up by Creative Director and Brand Designer Nancy Poller, the team of independent creatives offer clients branding and design services. Nancy comments, “During such a difficult few years, we have worked incredibly hard to grow our team, offering more freelance creatives work – and have taken the business to a new level creating some new brands we are incredibly proud of such as Afrocenchix, a black hair care company whose brand and packaging we redesigned, now has a national TV advert on Channel 4 and is stocked in Superdrug, while Rose & Skin, an organic skin care line, has won industry awards and been featured in The Guardian within a few months of launch.”
Entrepreneur of the year – Recognising entrepreneurs with passion and creativity who truly encapsulates what it means to be a Great British entrepreneur.
Winner – Farmers and Roasters
Spyros Alegria Gunaris comments, “Farmer and Roasters are a small but mighty speciality food importer bringing Latin American flavours and aromas to the UK via online market places in the UK. This year I’ve successfully launched eight new products of my own creation utilising three main ingredients from the country I fell in love with.”
Highly commended – The Vegan Soup Company London
Lynda Jones comments, “After 25 years in Early Years Teaching, I was made redundant in December 2020. I decided to follow my dream to make earth-friendly vegan soaps. Not only do my soaps smell divine, they use only natural ingredients, are perfect for senstive skin and all the packaging is compostable. Alongside this new business I have also launched a Charitable Trust, which is to be developed as the business grows. ‘Saved By Soap’, is a trust to support women who have been through the prison system, experienced homelessness or suffered through domestic violence. The aim of the trust is to run workshops to teach these women the art of soap-making as a therapy, or to develop their own interest in natural skincare products with the possibility to franchise The Vegan Soap Company London brand.”
Innovation award – Recognition of business that have pulled out all the stops and gone to another level this year.
Winner – Munchy Play
Sophie Procter, owner of Munchy Play comments “Based in Twickenham, Munchy Play is the first kids’ plate to feature a built-in train track, bringing fun to dining and kids to the table. Specifically, as an innovative product, Munchy Play holds its own and was named one of the most promising start ups of the year in The Sunday Times and is widely covered in the press. With thanks to the mentorship from Helen at the Phoenix programme, we have gone from strength to strength this year. This involves the huge task of changing manufacturers, moving our tooling and factory to another location in the UK, in order to expand – alongside an investment in robotic technology – its a great example of triumph and British enterprise at its best. Additionally, we expanded our business with a licence agreement in partnership with Mattel, to introduce a whole new range – a huge feat for a business that only launched last year in the shadow of Brexit and in the midst of a global pandemic.”
Highly commended – Forefront Future a financial technology company which builds innovative platforms for investment fund portfolio managers to channel their investment into ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) activities.
Community project – Recognising a community project that is achieving fantastic results in 2021.
Winner – Makers United
Cornelia Costeanu comments, “Makers United looks after the makers of our community. We cater for those creatives who are sewing, knitting, crocheting and so on. During the pandemic, most makers lost their income and their confidence but this Christmas will be different! By creating this group we have raised so much awareness of craft in Richmond and created a community, connecting makers and their skills with local buyers and future crafters. By promoting the makers under one brand and website we have created a fantastic resource for everyone to grow together. Alongside Richmond Adult College we hosted a craft festival in September and are now preparing for another event in December. As a result of all of this effort, many friendships were formed amongst the artisans and they have regained the faith.”
Highly commended – The Cutting Edge
Paul Warrington comments, “Our cultural heritage in Britain is under threat through a lack of funding and the impact of Covid-19. The latter has meant fewer visitors, resulting in a sharp drop in income for the majority of visitor attractions. Turner’s House is arguably where Britain’s greatest painter once lived, and as such, is an important cultural asset which sits at the heart of the Richmond-upon-Thames community. I volunteered my design skills to promote Turner’s House Trust (Twickenham) this year, as having worked as a design consultant for heritage organisations such as St Paul’s Cathedral and Historic Royal Palaces, I decided to put my name forward. Working with the House Director, we identified some potential spaces for welcome boards and a series of interpretation panels for the house interior and garden to improve the visitor experience. The project was made possible through a Richmond Council Community grant which provided funding for the production and installation costs.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd4KUEIE3asFurther details can be seen in this short video made by Richmond Council here:
Rising Star – Recognising entrepreneurs who are ready to take care of business in 2022.
Winner – Brextazy are a pandemic start up company with a unique, organic herbal drink with an infusion of CBD oil. Our aim is to help get Britain back on its feet again, and celebrate a happier and healthier country. After a lot of sacrifice, failures and sleepless nights my product is now on the market.
Highly commended – M4trix Dev LimitedMatteo Beroldo comments, “I am developing a platform to allow brick and mortar stores to sell subscriptions with ease providing a unique customer experience for small businesses and adding more value to shopping local.”
At CPG we are so grateful to the independent and highly professional entrepreneurs in Richmond who we have worked so closely with over the past five years, as well as Richmond Council, who have sponsored our training programmes to ensure expert business advice and mentoring was accessible to all. It seemed like the most appropriate time to launch our very own business awards and acknowledge and celebrate the hard work, commitment and high calibre of businesses in the Richmond Borough.
We are so excited to see what happens in 2022. With businesses gaining momentum after the risk and heartbreak of the pandemic and Brexit, we are all beginning to see a light at the end of a very long tunnel.
We also presented an extra special award to Celia Rizothanasi of Queen Bee of LinkedIn and Your Marketing Mentor whose commitment and contributions throughout the year have been outstanding.
The evening hit the mark perfectly with a well overdue and safe celebration for our colleagues, contemporaries and new friends in the Borough and beyond.