How They Made it in Biz – Grippy Leads

Jen Ives from Grippy Leads tells us how she made it in business.

We make dog leads to our own unique design, matching collars and bespoke products to order. We are based in Cornwall, where all our products are designed and made. We attend various events throughout the year, from local shows to Crufts. We enjoy getting out to meet new and existing customers and to have the opportunity to demonstrate our products.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

The Grippy idea was born whilst out walking one day with our lovely Boxer dog Pablo. We decided that there must be a better way to shorten a dog lead without wrapping it around your hand, or holding it lower down where it could slip through your grasp.

After some thought we devised The Original Grippy, allowing you to simply select the loop you wish to use to suit the degree of control or freedom required.

This design also addresses the obvious safety issue of wrapping leads around your hand.

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

Before our product was out in the public domain we obtained the appropriate Intellectual Property cover for our product.

We researched the various options for appropriate materials and fittings. When we were happy with these we made our first prototypes and put it to the test!

How did you raise awareness and market your business?

We continue to use a number of channels to raise awareness and market Grippy Leads – Facebook, Twitter, press articles & features and attending events. Word of mouth has proven to be instrumental as well – the positive feedback we receive helps the products sell themselves.

We are delighted to have been winners for highly credible awards by both Theo Paphitis (#SBS) and Jacqueline Gold (#WOW). The recognition and support gained from both of these groups is invaluable. We are also extremely grateful to have been chosen as one of the #smallbiz100 for the Small Business Saturday initiative 2015. All of these provide a considerable boost to our business and we are proud to be a part of them.

What has been your biggest challenge so far? How did you find the motivation to overcome it?

Publicising our product – this is a work in progress. We work daily on social media so our business remains in the public eye, and exploit other opportunities as and when they present themselves.

Do you think it’s important to have a team or a group of people to turn to for support and advice?

Definitely! It’s a huge help to be a part of a number of business networks in order to seek advice / expertise when needed. You find there are people at varying stages with their businesses so there’s a wide breadth of experience to tap into. It’s great to be able to help each other out and bounce ideas off those going on a similar journey to yourself.

What do you love about running your own business?

I take great satisfaction in having designed and produced a unique product that is of great benefit to other dog walkers.

The flexibility to fit in with family life too is very important. I also enjoy the independence and I like being able to set my own targets and the ability to take my business where I wish to – I can follow my dreams!

What advice would you give to someone starting their own pet business?

Back yourself and have a go! You’ll never know what you can achieve until you try ☺

Find out more about Grippy Leads by visiting their website


  • Teresa Richmond

    Hi Well done Good luck with your business .nice reading .

  • Jason

    Congratulations, seems like a very clever product. Best of luck for the future!

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