Happy campers: Yorkshire campervan awning company wins top FSB award

A Harrogate-based business that creates and sells glamorous canvas campervan awnings has been named as one of the UK’s top businesses at this year’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Celebrating Small Business Awards.

Run by husband and wife team James and Sarah Martin, Glawning Ltd scooped the Microbusiness of the Year Award at the annual event on Thursday 19 May, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow and co-hosted by broadcaster Clare Balding and JJ Chalmers, and addressed by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The innovative pair came up with the idea in 2013 when they wanted to pitch something ‘posh’ next to their vintage campervan. Realising that such a product didn’t yet exist, they set to work creating a 100% cotton canvas awning and launched Glawning Ltd, a business which turned over more than £500,000 in the last financial year.

Despite Covid challenges such a 500% increase in shipping costs, production delays and unpredictable sales levels, as well as the couple tackling home-schooling, the business is thriving and this year they plan to launch in Europe and the USA.

As well as a successful business model, the microbusiness has somewhat of a following amongst Glawning owners, with a unique Facebook community and the launch of the annual Glawning charity festival Glampfest.

Having already won the Yorkshire and the Humber regional final of FSB’s Celebrating Small Business Awards earlier this year, James and Sarah have now beaten competition from area winners across the UK to take the national title of Microbusiness of the Year.

FSB’s Celebrating Small Business Awards is the most high-profile event of its kind nationally, with more than 3,000 entries, and showcases the best of small business entrepreneurship in every part of the UK.

Glawning co-founder Sarah Martin, said: “We’re thrilled to have won the Microbusiness of the Year Award at this year’s FSB awards. We set up our business after identifying a gap in the market and this award is very much a testament to all the work we have put into creating and launching a product that we ourselves need and use.”

FSB National Chair Martin McTague, said: “Congratulations to Glawning Ltd for winning this award. This is an example of a small business that recognised an opening for a new product and worked hard to create something that has been a success amongst the campervan community. I wish them success as they continue to innovate and create new products and take on the international markets.”

About FSB
As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk.

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