Having been finalists three years ago, we returned having grown stronger and with more of an idea of what the judges were looking for.
We expanded our trading area overseas and refined our key messages to get across our company vision, values and purpose - to give excellent service and supply a comprehensive choice of prescription goggles and masks to swimmers and divers who wear glasses or contact lenses for eye health and water safety reasons.
This strategy worked because we won Small Business of the Year and we were ecstatic to achieve this prestigious accolade. In presenting the award, Adrian Lockwood gave praise by commenting on how we had begun early exporting and had found a novel use for e-commerce. Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) who sponsored the award, was launched in 2011 and is responsible for championing and developing the Oxfordshire economy. Working with businesses, academia and the public sector, OxLEP is helping to drive economic development across the county.
We were also impressed by our fellow nominees for Business Person of the Year, Carbody Banbury who had sprayed the cars for 007 in the James Bond film Spectre and felt sure they would win as a result.
We attended the awards with our office team Julie, Kirsty, Tracy and Andrea along with Karen, Suzanne and Becky from Pick Pack Despatch who process our non-goggle orders and Jody Fletcher from Chilli Promotional Products who supplies our branded merchandise. We had a lovely three course dinner and a bottle of bubbly together which made an enjoyable change from our usual day-to-day telephone and email exchanges.
Michelle Lewis from our Banbury Chamber of Commerce did a fantastic job organising the event with the sponsors and setting up the marquee with her team.
We met up with a few of our local business friends and supporters;
All in all it was a great night for Oxfordshire businesses, here is a photo of all the Cherwell Business Award 2016 winners.
We came away with two 'gongs': GOLD in the Best New Lip Product category for our Eye Care Cosmetics Nourishing lip balm; and HIGHLY COMMENDED in the Best New Eye or Brows Product category for our Eye Care Cosmetics Intense mascara.
“As an optometrist and regular swimmer, I enjoy sourcing a wide range of goggles and masks to help you see well in the pool, sea or spa.”
James Sutton (MCOptom)
Founder of Prescription Swimming Goggles