Betty Boyns. A case study.

5 minutes with Paula Nicholls of Betty Boyns.

With an artistic background and time spent working with creative people, Paula Nichols found a way to channel her talent for design into a business. Betty Boyns is a design business specialising in fabric and household items based in Newlyn.

Paula Nicholls of Betty Boyns

‘I was looking for some wrapping paper whilst running a greetings card business and I couldn’t find what I was after so I had a go at designing something myself, I loved it and thought it would work well as a fabric and the idea snowballed from there.’

Opening in 2009, Betty Boyns received support through the South West Investment Group loan which has meant that Paula could develop the brand and work on promotion and marketing especially at tradeshows which in turn increases sales and awareness of her products and brand.

‘It has allowed me to put money into creating a quality product and promoting it well, being able to compromise less on these things is important to a quality brand and product.’

Everything produced at Betty Boyns is sourced within the UK or Cornwall ‘I didn’t want products made abroad where it would be harder for me to check on the working conditions. Wherever possible I use Cornish suppliers but where that isn’t possible, they are always UK based. My fabrics are printed in Manchester.’ Explains Paula.

Tea cosies

Any advice for others starting out?

‘One thing I would say is to have a business plan, I had one and I am really disorganised! I am lucky to work with some really great people, and I listen to advice, this is one of the best things you can do really.’

Another tip from Paula:

‘Find out who your customers are and what they want. Don’t assume that just because you like something everyone else will.’

 What next for Betty Boyns?

‘Well our next collection and the catalogue are launched in April 2014. And I’m always developing my designs and expanding the colour palette, I’m always working on the brand and we have some exciting collaborations in the pipeline.’

What are your strengths, why do you feel Betty Boyns works?

‘Just like some people have perfect pitch, I am good at colour, it’s instinctive and I get really excited about colour and how it is used.  I like simple motifs, I develop them and work them up on Photoshop into finished designs.’

One of Betty Boyns' aprons

Who do you have working with you?

‘I have a small but expanding team. I have someone cutting and sewing in the workshop but am keen to expand here as we are keeping up with our orders but not building up stock as we’re so busy.

‘I have a salesperson who is very well connected within the industry, an admin assistant and me as designer and everything else! I am hoping to be able to build the team up in 2014.’ 

About South West Investment Group

The fund provides Small Loans for Business (up to £50,000) and Finance for Business (up to £250,000) focusing on businesses which have growth potential but have not been able to secure all their finance requirements from the private sector.   

The main objective of this investment is to stimulate the creation, growth and development of qualifying small and medium sized enterprises in the South West, including Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.


Betty Boyns

Monday 10 March 2014