Cheeky Little Prints is 10!

Cheeky Little Prints is 10!

The woman behind local pet keepsake & personalised gift company celebrates 10th anniversary 

Cheeky Little Prints is 10!
Cheeky Little Prints founder Lisa Berry is thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her Swindon-based business. Lisa’s business specializes in personalised paw print jewellery alongside bespoke paw print gifts and keepsakes. 

In April 2009 Lisa, then aged 26, who lives in the Covingham area of Swindon took the plunge to launch the company from home. A trained veterinary nurse, she has, as you’d expect, a love of animals.

Lisa set up shop on her kitchen table, working on customer orders, while her children were asleep in bed.

Says Lisa: ‘working with people and their pets I got to see first hand just how much we love our furry friends – myself included. Whenever one passed, the pain and loss suffered really brought home just how much they meant to their owners. That’s why I came up with the idea of creating these very special mementoes.’

Print Kits for Pet Owners

Cheeky Little Prints became one of the first businesses in the UK to make print kits for pet owners to use to put their own pets’ paw prints on paper themselves.

‘Over the last decade the business has evolved and really taken off. Just as parents love to capture their children, animal lovers also want to see their pets in personalised items especially paw prints.’

Today, Lisa continues to run her web-based business from her home office in Swindon, yet customer orders come in from all over the world, including the US. What has taken Lisa by surprise is the personal contact pet owners want. 

‘Every order has a special story behind it and my customers love to share their paw print stories with me. It’s why I’m also launching a gallery on social media and on my website allowing customers the opportunity to show the mementoes they’ve created and to share their pets’ stories.’

‘After ten years of building the business and running it alongside my family I’ve now got a good idea about what clients love. It’s why we’ll be expanding the business in the next few months.’

Lisa is also a voice for single parents in business. She faced the personal challenge of going through a divorce while her business was starting out and is now a member of the national organisation Single Mums Business Network.

Now she supports other entrepreneurs facing similar situations. 

For more information on Cheeky Little Prints visit: and find Lisa on Facebook:

Open Dawes Training opens new office door

Open Dawes Training opens new office door

Relocation marks new era for growing Swindon training company

Swindon-based Open Dawes Training Ltd has moved to smart new offices, as business flows in for the presentation, public speaking and media training company.

Open Dawes Training, which offers CPD accredited training for organisations and individuals, has relocated to Nexus Business Centre’s serviced offices in Swindon. The business moved from Gemini House at Groundwell Industrial Estate.

Open Dawes Training - Chris Dawes

The company’s founder and Managing Director Chris Dawes, who has a second career as a motor sports commentator, said the new venue better reflected the nature and growth of the training business and its clientele.

Location, Location, Location

“We loved being in Gemini House, as our first office for the media side of Chris Dawes Comms. But the facilities at Nexus are great, and it’s an excellent venue to bring our clients when we are delivering one-to-one training.”

Open Dawes trains groups or individuals, either inhouse or at its head office training centre at Nexus, in Cheney Manor. Its clients range from accountants and insurance companies, to public sector and charities, and professional sports people/management.

Chris is also developing an online training service, and has already coached a young Australian racing driver based in Brisbane, in presentation and public speaking skills.

Earlier this year, the company was recognised by BBC Dragons’ Den’s former dragon Theo Paphitis, and invited to become one of an elite group of small businesses in the entrepreneur’s Small Business Sunday network.

In January, Chris – a regular commentator at motor sports venues across the UK and in Europe – was runner-up in the Commentator of the Year annual awards run by Motorsport Media, which broadcasts Motorsport Radio and online live visual broadcasts.

“Both sides of my business – Open Dawes Training and Chris Dawes Comms – are doing really well. Open Dawes Training in particular has really taken off and has now overtaken the media side. The commentating, voiceover, TV/radio presenting, and live event hosting business will become a sub-brand of Open Dawes.”

For information visit, call 01793 238259 or email

Intelligent Dialogue

Intelligent Dialogue

IMHO, Intelligent Dialogue is a rather good name for a business that does what this Wiltshire-based business does do: training and coaching. And more of that soon. 

But first let’s have a little look at the words that comprise this business’ name. Humour me – I did an English degree not long back – so I rather like a word! And there is a point to it – as I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to see. 

The mass noun, intelligence, is late Middle English, via Old French from the Latin Intelligentia. That in turn comes from intelligere – meaning understand.  Intelligence then is an ability to get and put to good use, knowledge and skills. Besides that, as well as being something we have (or not), intelligence is something we get when we gather political or military information. 

Moving on to dialogue– one definition/application of the word is that of a discussion between two or more people or groups. In particular where it involves exploring of a certain subject or problem resolution.

You see now why this is such a great name for a training deliverer? ‘Yes, I do. Tell me more about them!’ I hear you cry.

Who are they and where are they?

The MD of Intelligent Dialogue, Diane Banister and her training team are new kids on the block. 

By which I mean new(ish) to the Swindon/Wiltshire area – (Royal Wootton Bassett to be precise) and not new to their field. Nothing could be further from the truth there.

Indeed, they have well over twenty-five years’ experience in helping their clients to achieve tangible results from the training they deliver. 

Intelligent Dialogue training room ready for delegates

If you’re in the business of wanting to grow your business and need help with the following then you’re reading the right blog post:

  • Developing your sales team
  • Developing the quality of the telephone conversations you have with your customers
  • Developing your customer experience
  • Developing your team leaders and managers
  • Developing your future managers and leaders

‘Okay, so they’re experienced and they’ve been doing it for a long time. Well so have plenty of other coaching deliverers. Why should I choose them over the Terrific Training Delivery Company that I’ve used before?’

That’s a good and fair question. One which I’ll try to answer.

Why choose Intelligent Dialogue training and coaching for your training needs?

Well there’s the years of practice they’ve had between them for a start. They’ve walked the walk and talked the talk. And I know that’s a cliché – but that’s because it’s true. That’s how clichés form. 

The people at Intelligent Dialogue have first-hand, hands-on experience of sales, of management, of call centres and of customer service. In short: they’re training you in what theyknow. That’s not always the case with trainers – there are some who work from a generic written training programme. 

That expertise makes them credible. And with credibility comes faster participant buy-in. And buy-in brings faster results.

Tailored Training

What’s more, Intelligent Dialogue work with you and your specific outcomes in mind. What that means to you is this: 

They deliver a training course or a development programme that helps its participants build the skills and confidence they need to support your business. And that’s another thing that helps you achieve your ROI in the training. 

Be In Tune with Intelligent Dialogue

Let’s assume now that you’ve seen enough to think ‘Yes! I’d love to use these people in my business. I’m sure they’d be great at meeting my customer service training needs but …’ The BUT being that you don’t have the budget. Well never fear, the Intelligent Dialogue, In Tune downloadable training materials are here.

Armed with these easy-to-use materials* you can run your own customer service training.

*Available in US English or British English packs.

You can download a free sample from the website before you commit yourself to buying. And there’s a whole range of materials to choose from. Buy them either as discrete units or as a complete In Tune training package. Either way you won’t hit a bum note. 

Prices range from £150 + VAT for the In Tune with Extraordinary Service unit to £950 + VAT for the full package.  

three people on an intelligent dialogue training course

What do their clients say?

Another good and fair question. Why should you take my word for it?

Well, you don’t need to because there’s a whole heap of super testimonials here on their website. And a funky illustrated one plucked from their Twitter stream:

Intelligent dialogue testimonial taken from Twitter

 By now your interest is surely piqued? In which case the next thing to do is get in touch with the ID team here.

If you’re social media minded and you’d like to check out their social media platforms you’ll find them on 
Twitter and LinkedIn.  And, of course, Facebook:

Pink&Green Organic Skincare

Pink&Green Organic Skincare

What I enjoy with these Made in Wiltshire features are the variety of topics and people I get to write about. I’ve thus far written about artists, a wood turner and a pen maker and a writer. 

In this post though I’m delighted to feature the lovely Carol Aplin, a Swindon-based maker of hand-made, organic and vegan-friendly skincare that goes under the brand of Pink&Green.

I’ve known Carol for a few years now. We met when we were both at the start of our business journeys and have gone on to become friends and mutual clients. By which I mean, Carol avails herself of my editorial services and I buy her stuff!

They are gorgeous products – and I’m really not ‘just’ saying that.

Product Placement

Pictured below are a couple of my all time fave Pink&Green products.

The best-selling, multi-purpose One Balm and the Frankincense luxury moisturizer. These and the divine facial exfoliator are my personal P&G staples though I do use several other products too.

The Pink&Green Ethos

Carol began her organic skincare company, back in 2014, after many years working as an holistic therapist. She explains on her website how, during time as a practising therapist, she taught her clients how important it is that they make time for themselves. To pay attention to their skin – to what it was telling them – and then to act upon that message.

Carol is steadfast in her belief that what you put on your skin should help you to both look and feel wonderful. She weaves that self-care ethos through her range of organic skin care products.

For those of you – and it’s more and more of us these days – that care about such things, Pink&Green products are formulated with natural ingredients that aren’t tested on animals.

But rather than me waffling on why don’t you listen to Carol herself talk about what she does and why? Here she talks about her ‘Ah-ha!’moment – how the Pink&Green brand came into being: 

While on this one– Carol talks to/is interviewed by the owner of the business directory, IWork4UGlos about some of her products. 

Buy it online or see it at the salons

Carol sells her products to individuals via her online shop which you can browse here. There she has a multitude of fans such as myself. But, increasingly she is working with salons. 

Should you be a salon or spa owner – or you know a salon that you think should stock Pink&Green products find out the full details here.

Having run salons in the past, P&G are super aware of the challenges faced by salon owners. Which is why they don’t now, and will not, impose onerous conditions on you. Nor do they dictate to you how you should run your business. It is after all your business. As Carol says:

‘Every business is different. We listen to YOU and help YOU in a way that best suits YOU.’

If you want to know more about anything to do with Pink&Green then everything you need to know about making contact with them is right here on their website.

‘Sorry Swindon’ says Weighbridge Brewhouse

‘Sorry Swindon’ says Weighbridge Brewhouse

July 2nd 2019

‘Sorry Swindon’ says Weighbridge Brewhouse as it relaunches with a little help from its friends.

Hello listeners – few days ago I published this post about the Weighbridge Brewhouse following my invitation to one of their dry runs. So what follows now is their official press release.

Long-established Swindon venue, The Weighbridge Brewhouse, relaunched last week [26 June] with a refurbished restaurant and bar, and changes to its food and drink menus – thanks in part to its friendly Facebook followers

The Weighbridge took to the popular social media site to apologise for previous changes at the venue that hadn’t quite ‘hit the mark’.

The restaurant and bar asked its following to suggest what they would bring back and what new elements they would introduce for relaunch, with the aim of making it up to its loyal customer base.

Followers saw a number of their ideas implemented during a successful four-day relaunch, which invited guests from local businesses, press and loyal customers to the venue to attend lunch and dinner services, experience the new decor and enjoy live music from local artists. 

This included the reintroduction of The Weighbridge Brewhouse’s famed Dauphinoise potatoes, brought back by popular demand to complement its new, broader menu boasting ingredients from handpicked local suppliers and a great offering for those with dietary requirements. 

Drinks at The Weighbridge Brewhouse have also been refreshed with a new cocktail menu – featuring delicious Strawberry Daiquiris and After Eight drinks – and a more extensive wine list by fine wine merchants Berry Bros & Rudd.

The bar area has been overhauled with a striking, illuminated tree at its centre to create an informal bar space and a new feature wall filled with station clocks reconnects to the unique venue’s past as a weighing station for trains. Luxurious teal fabric stools line the bar, updated with new silver chrome pumps, to link the restaurant’s decor. 

The Weighbridge Brewhouse’s restaurant also features further illuminated golden maple trees throughout and a new wall of black and white pictures showcasing the Weighbridge building and Swindon’s railway heritage.

To celebrate its relaunch, The Weighbridge Brewhouse also ran a relaunch raffle to raise money for local Swindon charities, Prospect Hospice and Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home service, as well as Bowel Cancer UK. Prizes from The Weighbridge Brewhouse, its owners the Upham Group, and suppliers – such as Berry Bros & Rudd – as well as ticket purchases and generous donations from its valued customers, helped to raise £1,800 for the three charities.

David Butcher, director at The Weighbridge Brewhouse said: “The relaunch has been a wonderful event, allowing us to showcase the fantastic changes we’ve made to The Weighbridge Brewhouse, from the food and drink menus to the decor, as well as additional training for all our teams.

It’s also enabled us to reconnect with some of our valued customers past and present, who we hope have enjoyed the changes – many of which have been thanks to their feedback online – and we look forward to seeing many more of them over the coming months.” 

David continued: ‘The icing on the cake has been the amount everyone has helped us raise for three amazing charities and we’d like to say a massive thank you to our staff, suppliers and our generous customers for getting behind it.’ 

Latest News from RIAT

Latest News from RIAT

Latest News from RIAT: UK’s first female fast-jet fighter pilot is keynote speaker at inaugural business event at Europe’s biggest air show 

Latest news from The Royal International Air Tattoo’s Business Club

Jo Salter, the UK’s first female fighter pilot, will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Business Club event at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo. 

She was the first female fast-jet pilot flying The Tornado GR1. She admits that her first flight was the high point of her career at that time of her life. Today, Jo is the Chief of Staff to the Head of Technology and Investment at PwC (Price Waterhouse Cooper)

Helen Webb, Head of Marketing for the Royal International Air Tattoo, said: “We are thrilled Jo has agreed to come along and share her inspirational story with us. She is still heavily linked to the RAF, is a trustee of the RAF Club and a member of 601 Squadron RAuxAF. We know our guests will enjoy hearing more of her experiences.”

Jo was inspired to join the RAF after attending several airshows during her childhood in Croydon. After taking A levels in maths, physics and electronics, she applied to join and, aged 18, became an engineering officer in the Comms-Electronic branch. She also knows Wiltshire and the Cotswolds well as she spent three years studying for her undergraduate degree at Shrivenham and lived nearby during those years. 

“I am looking forward to sharing my view that leadership and achievement are about the person rather than the sector someone works in or the size of their business. I ran my own consultancy for some time and I have learned that from personal experience,” Jo said.

“Diversity isn’t just about gender, race or religion, it’s about thinking differently and allowing people to be their true selves in the workplace.”

Jo will be one of a number of speakers at The Air Tattoo Business Club which will be held for the first time at the show where companies can network in one of the Air Tattoo’s premier hospitality suites.

Guests will spend the day with like-minded organisations, enjoy business round-table discussions with pilots and aircrew who will drop in throughout the day for photo opportunities.

The event starts at 9.00am with refreshments and structured networking followed by guest speakers from 10am-11am.  The flying display is from 11am-3pm with lunch served during this time – those who want to stay in the room can take part in facilitated round-table discussions. Afternoon tea will follow at 3.00pm with guests departing from 4.30pm.

The cost is £220 (plus VAT) per person.  Details are available here or email 

Subscribe to our news?

We send out a regular and frequent blog, the subject matter is usually Swindon or Swindon related, if you would like to receive the updates please leave your details below.