Pawabella wins Alan Wills Innovation Award June 04 2015, 0 Comments

Sound City 2015 Alan Wills Innovation Award

The 21st May was an amazing experience for me, I went to the Sound City conference in the Titanic Hotel. I had been shortlisted to pitch my business for funding, I got to pitch for the Alan Wills Innovation Award to a panel of 5 judges. I was the last one to pitch after 5 other contestants, one of the judges took princess around while I talked, I talked about how Pawabella began, my plans for the future and what I would spend the prize money on, while we waited for the judges to add up their scores I won the people's vote from the clap-o-meter. Then at the end the judges picked me and I won the award and £500 funding plus help for my business. I was very happy I didn't know what to say, then when we were leaving the man from Spain in a box joking said "how am I meant to compete with a dog in a dress" it was funny and everyone was very friendly.

To prepare I practiced my speech lots of times in one of the rooms in the Titanic Hotel, then we had to sit in the green room whilst we all waited to pitch, as we where going around the stalls I sat at the business seats and wrote on cards the order to tell my speech, also I had a slide show on an iPad of some the items I make and sell to show the judges.

I was so happy I couldn't believe I actually won , my mum was so proud of me that I actually won the Alan Wills Innovation Award and I am really looking forward to all the extra help with my business, I was so pleased I won.


"How did Pawabella begin" February 02 2014, 0 Comments

Recently I have been very lucky and have been interviewed by Sean Styles for Radio Merseyside, Josh Taylor for the first edition of Sunday's Liverpool Echo and Jess Galley for the Mail On-line, Daily Mail and the Metro as well as Tim Scott for ITV's Granada Reports. One of the first questions they like to ask me is

"How it all began"

Well I found some old dog clothes that we bought for our dog ages ago and they didn't fit, I asked if I could have them to sell, I wanted to start getting money so that I could start saving up, I wanted to save money so that when I am older I could pay for university so I could study to become a vet. So then I went to ask my mum, I asked if I could have a business, I wanted to open a shop in Liverpool as I thought it was a really good idea and not many shops sell clothes for dogs. She said that she would think about it. Then one night when I came home from school she said that she had found a shop I could rent.

We went to a trade show in Birmingham I thought it was amazing, I liked listening to the speaker Alex Polizzi about small business's and getting started on a shoe string. I liked looking at things people were selling and couldn't wait to open my own shop.

We went to see the shop and it was tiny.

Even though it was tiny I knew it would be a big success...

It took lots of time, paint and hard work...

We went  to the shop after school and on Saturdays. We painted the outside as well as the inside...


we even fitted a floor...

I choose the stock I would like and mum helped me with my first order...

Then we needed furniture to display our lovely stock on, I really enjoyed shopping for my shop...

I had to compromise on things I would of liked as furniture and fittings are expensive. I think what I have chosen works very well in the small space I have. I have found that one of my favourite tasks in the shop is to arrange my displays, I like to change them around and photograph them to see what they might look like from a customers view.

Once I had a shop, some furniture and some items to sell I realised I needed a name...

The name Pawabella was chosen with help from my sister Hannah, we choose 'Paw' as lots of animals have paws and abella originally as it had a boutique sound to it then I looked it up on google and found that  Abella was a roman physician who taught about medicine, I was absolutely delighted as I want to learn about medicine to be a Vet.

In the beginning my mum used her bank card to help but we both thought that it would be a good idea to get a business account as it would help me to keep track of what was going to come in and what would need to be paid out.

Mum went to the bank while I was in school and opened an account she put a little bit of money in to help me and we agreed it would be a good way to keep track of everything.

The shop was nearly finished but no one knew we were there in the Gostin's shopping mall , so then I decided to build a website to help people buy dog clothes in the week as I could only open my shop on a Saturday. I went on the internet to find out about starting a website

We found a site called shopify and took the trial. Then we eventually decided that our shop would be made on shopify.

I love having my own shop and using Social Media like twitter and Facebook and Pinterest to share and spread the news.  I have had lots of support and have amazing follows on Twitter

Please follow me on Twitter @Pawabella, Facebook and Pinterest and feel free to comment about my blog.


Love Angel Thomas (age 11)

Thank you mum for all your help

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