WE love to see creative ideas for businesses from Army spouses and partners – and that’s why we’re featuring several entrepreneurs in the winter edition of Army&You, out from Monday 12 November. One such spouse is Laura Steptoe, wife of a REME soldier and mum-of-two based in Wiltshire. We spoke to Laura as she launched her company, Dizzy Rhino, after a year of planning and funding from X-Forces Enterprise…

Laura Steptoe, Army wife

Business: Dizzy Rhino party boxes

Reason for starting up: When my daughter got a bit older and her friendship group got smaller, I found it difficult to organise a birthday party for her. I didn’t have time to do the legwork and looked online for a simple ready-to-go kit that could be delivered to my door. I was sure there were other parents out there having the same problem, and the idea grew.

The story so far: I’ve worked for a year on developing the kits and I’m really pleased with the website. I’m not a ‘crafty’ person – not arty or creative at all – and like me, many parents don’t have the wherewithal to make bath bombs or chocolate pizzas! The party boxes have everything you need.  

Challenges: It’s hard to get the message out and get people’s attention on social media to convert to actual sales – I’m having to learn quickly on this side of the business.

Managing your finances: I received a start-up loan from X-Forces Enterprise and they have been absolutely brilliant.

Top tip: I spent a long time researching and developing the product and it’s important to get that right. Make sure you understand the financial commitment you need to make.

Check out “Turning passion into profit” on pages 20-21 of our winter edition – out on Monday 12 November – for more success stories from Army spouses in business. We’re also teaming up with Dizzy Rhino next year to give away a fabulous party box, retailing at £135, of your choice. Look out for more details in our spring 2019 issue.

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