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Say hello to March’s Client of the Month: The Little Wool Company. We spoke with business owner Ruth Strickly about her move to Devon to take on a small herd of alpacas and set up shop.

What’s your name and your role in the company?

My name’s Ruth Strickly. I am business owner, sole trader and general jack-of-all-trades for the Little Wool Company. My day to day role covers the majority of areas required to run the business, including helping in the alpaca fields, marketing, design work and packing orders. However, there are times where I do have to reach out externally for resources and services. This includes employing contractors to come in to shear the animals.

Tell us about your business

I wanted a change of lifestyle, and so I decided to move to Devon to set up shop. There we took on a small heard of alpacas and Shetland Sheep known as Chilla Valley Alpacas. From this, I decided to create my own yard brand, and as of this year my own alpaca sock range, of which consumers have responded to positively.The Little Wool Company Alcapas

My business is split into two websites, one where consumers can shop and learn about alpacas – http://www.chillavalleyalpacas.co.uk/ and one which exhibits wool products that belong to akin brands and my own – https://www.thelittlewoolcompany.com/

My business specialises in luxury fibres, consisting of craft supplies and finished products. In my spare time, I like to attend craft shows and pop up shops to exhibit my products.

What drove you to start the business?

As mentioned above, a much-needed change in lifestyle. We swapped our mundane typical jobs for two pregnant female alpacas and a residence in Devon.

We went to visit an alpaca stud being sheared and discovered a barn full of alpaca fibre. We sheared our own and sent off our first batch of alpaca yarn to be processed. We were faced with hundreds of balls of cream and brown knitting yarn and were unsure of what to do with the stuff.
It was that moment which lead to the birth of The Little Wool Company. The idea was that we could adapt our yarn to provide wool in a variety of different colours and also serve as a one-stop shop for craft supplies and quirky homemade gifts.

Why did you choose The Accountancy Partnership?

The Accountancy Partnership was recommended to me by another small business, Craythorn Communications. They appealed to me because they were hugely affordable compared to akin accounting providers – they were much cheaper than my previous accountant – and because they offered me the chance to pay in small, monthly instalments.

I also wanted to start moving towards managing my accounts digitally, with the new MTD incentive coming into play this year.

I trialled several software types but found The Accountancy Partnership’s, Pandle, the most simplistic. It’s easy to navigate and is more geared towards small business owners, as opposed to accountants.

Would you recommend The Accountancy Partnership?

I would hugely recommend The Accountancy Partnership to other small business owners!

What do you have planned for your business in the future?

The craft industry seems to have taken a bit of a nosedive in recent months, however, we have had a lot of interest in or alpaca socks.  Thus we plan to expand and develop our sock range, aiming to offer these to wholesalers as well as retailers.

About The Author

Liam Yapp

Marketing Executive and Part-Time Copywriter. If I'm not working on our next big marketing project, you'll probably find me outside, basking in the sun or walking the dog. Learn more about Liam.

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