Back for 2019 – Kent Enterprise Zone, featuring 10 new enterprises all in their first year of trading. Come along and support the businesses.

Find out about some of the businesses who were successful in 2018 below. Successful applications for 2019 will be announced nearer the Show.

Autism Threads Ltd based in Tunbridge Wells. Founder Trish O’Dwyer’s 7-year-old son has non-verbal autism and, in a bid, to raise awareness in support of her son, Autism Threads Ltd was created. Trish produces a clothing and accessories range with discreet messaging that tells the observer how best to interact with the wearer. Through their clothing, Autism Threads Ltd aims to help people understand autism a little more.

Designed By Esther, based in Rainham has been set up by Esther Johnson. It provides a bespoke design service which focuses on the unique qualities of historic buildings and places in Kent. Esther has worked with Historic Dockyard Chatham and Royal Engineers Museum.

Emma Stokes Photography was established after Emma, a mum and every-day commuter to London, found herself at a cross-roads in her career. Turning a hobby into a business Emma now sells prints of beautiful Kent landscapes, from the marshes to the rivers as well as the woodlands and fields.

Jules and Feather from Margate are a bespoke entertainment service and is run by Juliet and Jon Sawyers. From intimate gatherings to large corporate events, Jules and Feather offer a variety of entertainment, specialising in music, dance, and circus.

Lushcards and Papercrafts was started by Sam Wareham who designs and creates cards and table sets. Working from her front room in Tonbridge, she makes commissioned pieces and made to order craft items and cards. Sam is keen to use recycled tiles where possible to create the beautiful hand made table sets and coasters and uses her own unique system to seal and protect the tiles.

Rockabowbaby from Maidstone is run by Liz Wheeler who sells headbands, clips and gifts for young children. The company started with an idea following an observation about a bow worn by her own daughter. The collections include ‘Pretty Little Clips, ‘Bibs & Bows’ and ‘Mummy and Me’ which include matching hairbands for mother and daughter.

Shiv Textiles by Siobhan Martin uses high quality natural fibres to weave and print her own materials to make blankets, cushions, scarves and purses. Having worked in London and Paris, Shiv takes her inspiration from the Kent countryside and many of the process including weaving, washing and finishing are completed by hand.  Siobhan aims to keep waste to a minimum by using all the fabric she weaves to make beautifully unique items.

Simply The Bees Knees was started by Sarah Evans in Ashford. Sarah uses beeswax to produce a range of products that offer a sustainable alternative to single use plastics and other polluting materials including candles, wood butters, leather balms and beeswrap; a reusable alternative to clingfilm. Sarah started Simply The Bees Knees using the honey and beeswax from her father’s beehive.

Stems & Son Based in Orpington, is a family run business producing silk flowers for all occasions. Run by Grant Weston, the silk flowers are ideal for weddings and special occasions and offer a life like and longer lasting alternative to the real thing with little maintenance. They are so realistic that it is said that even the bees can’t tell the difference.

The Milky Tee Company from Maidstone specialises in unique t-shirts that allow new mothers to breastfeed discreetly whilst feeling comfortable and stylish. Lauren Hampshire founded The Milky Tee Company after her own experiences as a mother-of-two. Having struggled to find practical, comfortable and stylish clothes to breastfeed in, Lauren designed Milky Tees, a t-shirt with a hidden zip, that allows for easy, comfortable and discreet breastfeeding. With the help of her mum and mother-in-law, who is a midwife, Lauren worked on the t-shirt design with an aim of helping other breastfeeding mums just like her.