Ted & Bessie: A Truly British Business

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I speak to a lot of small business owners in the course of a year, but one for me stands out and that’s Ted & Bessie, run by Catherine (Cat) Price in Leicestershire. Combining a traditional small holding with a modern day Internet business, it brings together the best of traditional country living with today’s technology and the added bonus of Alpacas.

Coming into a small inheritance, many would have slapped a deposit down on a house or bought a new car, but Cat decided to invest in a business, the name of which bears her grandparents names, combining her passion for design with her love of Alpacas.

Image by S Carter
Image by S Carter

What makes Ted & Bessie different is that it’s a wholly British business and today that’s a rarity. Cat’s own flock of Alpacas and produces sustainable and ethical knitwear right here in the UK. Unlike many small businesses today who are forced to source stock overseas, Cat still uses British manufacturing.

Simple, beautiful designs made from eco friendly fibre was Cat’s goal, and this is what she’s created, knitwear entirely produced and manufactured here on British soil. These are products which really can carry the “Made in Britain” tag with pride.

Hat Scarf with PompomOnce a year, professional shearers remove the fleece from the Alpacas which is sent to spinners in Cornwall before being knitted into Cat’s bespoke designs. If you’re in the market for a super soft and incredibly warm hat and scarf, Ted & Bessie is the place to go.

With Brexit looming, it’s great to see a British business growing and prospering and as well as her own Ted & Bessie website, Cat also lists on the NotOnTheHighStreet marketplace although that’s a relatively new step.

Brexit has already seen the value of the pound plummet, so Cat’s luxury goods automatically appear cheaper overseas. That’s why my top tip for her for 2017 would be to start listing on overseas marketplaces and tap into the love of British goods which is being highlighted by the current political situation.

As professional online retailers, what would your top tips for Cat be?

5 Responses

  1. There are Alpacas up the hill, in a field near me (Yorkshire). Fascinating beasts, I always get a kick out of seeing them. If I watch them, sooner or later one or two migrate down to see me.

  2. I’d upgrade the site to shopify and take advantage of the consequent internationalisation extensions available…

  3. a wholly British business ‘ …… that’s based entirely on a South American animal!


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