Retail start-up businesses have got until Sunday (March 10) to enter for the chance to sell their products to shopping giant John Lewis.
Twelve British start-ups will get the chance to convince buyers from the department store to stock their products at a face-to-face session on April 9.
Milton Keynes is one of the first John Lewis stores in the country to stock cushions and outdoor products made by a home-based mum-of-three who won a pitching competition.
Former gilt trader Julia Hunter started her Oily Rag business two years ago from home as a side line, pitched her ideas for the cheerful cushions, waterproof bunting and tablecloths to John Lewis after entering a PitchUp competition run by national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain.
Nicola Gidlow, Outdoor Living buyer at John Lewis, said: “The PitchUp initiative with StartUp Britain has been a fantastic way for us to identify and support talented and aspiring start-ups. We have been overwhelmed by the popularity of PitchUp and look forward to seeing the next round of pitches very soon.”
Emma Jones, co-founder of StartUp Britain said: “Julia has done what every retail start-up would love to do – and it all happened because she entered our PitchUp competition. We’re looking forward to seeing more success stories like Julia’s as we take the competition forward into 2013.”