Silver Swift founder Rose Unwin talks about the highs and lows of starting a business.
Occasionally, a product comes along that is capable of putting a place on the map. Silver Swift’s premium ready-to-drink cocktails might just be one of them.
If you’ve heard of Nettleton before now, you’ll know it as a small village in Wiltshire with a population of less than 1,000, famed for its picturesque cottages, Roman shrine, and… cocktails? That’s the dream of Silver Swift founder Rose Unwin, anyway.
Rose had the idea for Silver Swift when she saw there was a gap in the market for premium ready-to-drink mixed beverages. She told us there was “a lack of innovation in the ready-to-drink category, which is flooded with low and middle-end premade cocktails and gin & tonics.”
In contrast, Silver Swift use only award-winning British spirits and all-natural ingredients in their cocktails, and each bottle contains fewer than 94 calories.
The journey from incorporating to launching in December 2017 took only 10 months, during which time they raised an incredible £100k in investments in a whirlwind 5 days.
All start-ups have their ups and downs; for Rose the low points were the long hours working alone that every entrepreneur faces, and moving warehouse three times in two months. Luckily, the highs have been so numerous she finds it hard to pick just one as a favourite moment on her start-up journey:
“Every time someone says they love our flavours, getting our UK Trademark approved, learning how to do a VAT return, raising the seed money, receiving our first B2B order, hiring a talented Marketing Manager (who is ex Red Bull) and one of my favourite moments ever, seeing the branding for the very first time....”
Throughout her journey, Rose has been supported by Business West via the Swindon and Wiltshire SME Growth Programme. Early on, she met with an intellectual property lawyer through Business West, describing the support and advice she received as “invaluable”.
She also whole-heartedly recommends our small business workshops to other business owners:
“So far I’ve attended Marketing Made Easy, Social Media Made Easy and Finance & Business Planning. The courses have been absolutely fantastic. I was so impressed by the quality of facilitator and the content. I’ve learned copious amounts on the courses and would recommend them to every Wiltshire business.”
Rose’s goal is for Silver Swift to become the UK’s leading premium ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage and to create a strong international brand. Over the next year she hopes to see Silver Swift on the shelves of high-end retailers Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason. Cocktail fans should also keep an eye out for Silver Swift at food and music events throughout the year.
As she continues to grow her business, Rose can take advantage of the support available from our Enterprise, Innovation, and International Trade departments.
Find out more about Silver Swift.