Hampstead window box makers in national businesses final

A business that creates window boxes to bring urban spaces alive is a finalist in a nationwide contest to find the most worthy new businesses to win advertising and support to accelerate their growth.

Iron and Stone in Steele’s Village, which makes window boxes for urbanites, is in the running to become one of three London winners of the Local Business Accelerator campaign - supported by Archant London, publishers of the Ham&High.

The prizes, should they win, include business advice from Dragon’s Den business guru Deborah Meaden.

Anna Hodgson, of Iron and Stone, explained that her ornate window boxes are designed to bring the country to the city.

She said: “We believe that our window boxes can really brighten up urban environments and give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures and benefits of gardening.

“Our designs are traditional but look equally good on period and contemporary buildings.”

The business is three-years-old and developed out of their previous project trading ornamental African stone carvings.

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Their new window boxes are a unique and high quality product.

They look like cast iron but are made of recycled cast aluminium, which means they are light and strong and do not rust.

Their shape and strength solves the problem of narrow or sloping window sills which otherwise would not be able to take pots and troughs.

They can carry heavy loads and yet be fixed under windows or on walls without any support.

After a good start Anna and her business partner now wish to exploit the products’ huge potential.

Mrs Hodgson said: “The award would assist us in reaching our market so that we can increase sales turnover and invest further in new designs and accessories.

“Our hope is to bring the garden to windows in cities and towns all over the UK and Europe.”

Movers and Shapers gym, which offers personalised fitness plans promising results in just two intensive sessions a week, and Jazz Cycles bike shop, both in West Hampstead, are also in the top ten businesses hoping to win. The winners of the Local Business Accelerators campaign, spearheaded by the Newspaper Society, will receive free advertising and business mentoring as part of a �15million campaign.