I was challenged by the lovely Tracey over at Discover Newmarket to write a blog for their website, so I took up the challenge and here is my finished result.
When a Walk is not just a Walk
It was through a love of walking, that our Guest Blogger, Liz Cooke came up with a new business idea and she hasn’t looked back since. Read on to find out how the power of walking provided Liz with so much more than exercise and fresh air.
Guest Blog by Liz Cooke, owner of Chester and Cooke
Well, 2020 was certainly a year for great change, with the pandemic causing a huge percentage of the country to work from home and lockdowns bringing its various challenges . This, together with the need for daily exercise and fresh air, has led to a massive increase in people taking up walking. Which is fantastic news! Walking has so many positive health benefits, especially on our mental health. Being at one with the great outdoors, lifts your spirts and heightens your senses. All these potential benefits while enjoying nature is just a win win.
Being a dog owner for all my adult life, walking is one of our daily activities. I am definitely not a pavement girl though, and I can think of nothing better than to pull my wellies on and trudge, out into the countryside. Through the mud and puddles to take those all important deep breaths of fresh air and watch nature in all its glory. From the buzzards and kites and waterfowl to the fox and deer. We love keeping our eyes peeled for tracks of badgers and muntjac.
It was on one of my walks back in 2017 with my Jack Russell, Chester that my business idea of Chester & Cooke went full steam through my mind. Back in 2015 I had to give up my job in finance to look after my husband while he was on dialysis and help run the family Pattern Making business (its linked to engineering just in case you are wondering what it is). We always said that it would be great to make our own products, but it never really went any further. Working at the business then gave me more knowledge and understanding of our capabilities. Out on my walk it suddenly came to me, that every day I used a boot jack actually at least twice, if not more, to prize my beloved wellies from my feet. It occurred to me that a lot of people may have this problem.
This is where it all started. I wanted to use my love of the countryside to inspire products and gifts that are top quality, British made and stylish. And that is where my design journey began, very slowly to start with. From the humble Boot Jack which now has 15 different options of engraving, to personalised welly racks. My range then extended to dog beds and gardening products as well as a complete new range of equestrian products.
So, you see a walk is not just a boring drag of exercise, it can be a new journey, from perhaps picking up a camera and taking awesome photos while you walk, to becoming a bird spotter or enjoying the plants and wildlife you see. To giving you room to think and come up with ideas to lead you on a new journey in life.
Chester & Cooke has certainly taken me on a journey, we have just had the best sales over Christmas and even increased our sales abroad to all over Europe as far away as Canada the US and Australia. Our review on trust pilot and other sales platforms talk for themselves. We are becoming a trusted seller of quality British made products and I could not be prouder. For me, I am positive and enthusiastic for 2021. I encourage you to take a walk and see where it leads you, remember to keep your thoughts positive, stay safe and healthy.
Have a look at other blogs on the Discover Newmarket website here