This is Melanie’s story in her own words:

My name is Melanie Cawthray and until the age of 45 I had a varied career, but towards the end I worked in social housing. I found myself in the unfortunate position of becoming divorced at 40 and because of this my health suffered a little and I re-evaluated my life. I have three wonderful grown up children and they had started to have their own children making me a very grateful Nannie Grannie. I wanted a better work life balance to accommodate these changes.

I thought about what I am passionate about and that is dogs so little by little I set up Bowwow’s Dog Company. First I started a walking service, very little financial input and few overheads and at the same time I was leaning to groom dogs. Then for little outlay I began to groom from a summer house in the garden. By chance a community project opened on the walkway used by lots of dog walkers like myself and I applied to Grwp Cynefin to be part of the project. I was successful and started to groom from a container at the project. We were soon doing well with the grooming but there was no space to grow the business.

I had an idea that a Dog Day Care Service would compliment the grooming and walking services and by chance a business unit at the end of the very same walkway became available. This was a huge leap of faith for me and I didn’t really have any capital to move to enable me to purchase equipment etc. The Welsh Business Development Bank put me in touch with Purple Shoots and I never looked back. The company was so supportive and the application process easy and straightforward. Having this loan enabled me to move forward. The business has grown and grown, we now have our wonderful Day Care facility and we employ two part time staff and we are hoping to attract an apprentice this year, we have two self employed groomers on site.

We are now looking to expand into becoming a training facility for groomers which will produce more revenue and attract fresh business.

Life is good now, a thriving business, happy home life, work life balance with my ever growing family. All you need is someone to have a little belief in you and the support gives you the confidence to believe in yourself.

Diolch yn fawr Iawn Purple Shoots.