LEAP Success Stories

2016 Winner – Tracey Horan

The Candidate:

Tracey Horan applied for LEAP after speaking to a business advisor. With a creative background, Tracey – a mum of two –  decided to apply for LEAP to see if her hobby of converting mannequins into furniture could be the basis for a successful business.

The Business Idea:

Dolly Fixtures offers a range of unique and bespoke home furniture and accessories. Mannequins form the core of the product and are covered in fabric, textiles or leather using the decoupage method. Amongst the Dolly Fixture pieces are a selection of short, small or tall tables and a wonderful collection of lamps. A more recent addition are the unusually shaped cushions: made to fit snugly into the corners of a sofa or chair. Perfect for snuggling into! 

The Reality:

Since receiving the award Tracey has been involved in Spotted. “Spotted” showcases new talent in a specially designed area of Top Drawer, one of the UK’s longest established and most highly regarded retail trade events.

In addition to brand exposure and having plenty of contacts to follow up, Tracey is now talking with high-end department stores regarding inclusion of her products for their visual displays. A large table lamp and side table are now sharing space with beautiful blooms at a florist in Kennington and Batman and Robin, two full mannequin lamps, stand sentry at the Alma in Islington.

Tracey’s thoughts after taking “The LEAP”

Tracey has no doubt about the benefits afforded to her by taking up the opportunity of participating in LEAP. This is a programme that combines training and support for budding entrepreneurs to develop a sound business plan and the chance of winning a financial prize.

“The programme was so helpful in every way to get my business model right. Winning the money was a bonus and enabled me to invest in trialling my pieces with different finishes and materials sooner than I hoped”. I would encourage anybody who wants to start a business to register for LEAP 2018, it was one of the best decisions I ever made!”

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