IM4S Candidate Samantha Luxford (NaviStitch) Wins Trading Opportunity in Colchester’s Biggest Department Store

– A Further Four Local Entrepreneurs Win One-Week Trading Opportunity –

More than 100 members of the local business community gathered at Wivenhoe House, Colchester to see Samantha Luxford announced as the winner of Colbea’s ‘In the Market for Success’ competition. The money-can’t-buy prize will enable the Ardleigh-based artist to take her nautical art start-up business into Fenwick’s 90,000 square ft. Colchester High Street store for two months.

Alongside overall winner Samantha, children’s author Josie Dom, Jacquelyn Hayward of Woofs and Meows, Kate Cox Garden Design and Consultation, and Philippa Kettlewell of As-If Living will all win one-week trading in Fenwick Colchester.

Samantha’s business NaviStitch combines authentic navigation charts with a love of stitching to create unique and personal works of art and has also created a range of printed greetings cards.

Speaking about winning the unique prize, Sam says, “I am thrilled to have been selected as the winner, and I’m looking forward to working with such a prestigious retailer as Fenwick.  I am so excited about the opportunities that this will bring to my business and I am very grateful to Colbea for providing the IM4S course.”

The announcement was made at the Colbea’s Annual General Party – a celebration of entrepreneurship in Colchester – where guests included the Mayor of Colchester Councillor Peter Chillingworth and Mayoress Ann Chillingworth, alongside sponsors, stakeholders and representatives of organisations such as Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Ambassadors.

Each winner had to make it through a rigorous judging process, comprised firstly of delivering a strategy of delivery within Fenwick, before shortlisted candidates faced a judging panel consisting of Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, Colbea CEO, Julie Haywood, Group Buying Director for Fenwick and Lisa Oldman, Sales Manager for Fenwick and Vickey Parnell from NatWest Bank.

Julie Haywood, Group Buying Director for Fenwick, presented the awards alongside colleague Lisa Oldman. Julie says; “The standard of all entrants was incredibly high, and there are definitely a lot of talented people in this room. The judging panel were in unanimous agreement that (Overall Winner) Samantha delivered the best pitch, alongside a clear direction and understanding of where to take her business.”

Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, Colbea Chief Executive: “The judges and I were very impressed by the amount of hard work and dedication that went into the applications and the shortlisted candidate pitches. It was not an easy task to select our winners.”

Overall winner of Colbea’s ‘In the Market for Success’ and two months of trading in Fenwick Colchester:

Samantha Luxford – NaviStich; Samantha has taken her skill and love of stitching and turned it into a unique business. Upcycling old and out of date navigation charts into unique and personal artworks.  As well as original works – Navitich has created a range of printed greeting cards which are original and evoke emotion, ready to be supplied to retailers.

The winners of one-week trading in Fenwick Colchester:

Josie Dom – Josie Dom Ltd; Josie Dom is a children’s book author who has self-published two books to help children deal with their fears.  Josie also delivers children’s’ creative writing workshops and she impressed the judges with her family run business ethos and also her ten-year business plan

Jacquelyn Hayward –Woofs and Meows Treats; Artisan luxury gourmet doggie and Kittie treats – Handmade with love. The judging panel were impressed by Jacqueline’s clear market research and identified a gap in the market, her dedication to healthy animal treats product diversification is to be commended.

Kate Cox – Kate Cox Garden Design and Consultation; Kate presented the panel with a clear business case and understanding where to next expand her business into design and consultancy strands. Kate has thought through her cost vs margin and knows how to grow her business.

Philippa Kettlewell – As-If Living; As-If Living is a boutique online store for Art, Décor and Bespoke Gifts. Philippa creates a unique piece of art, with personal symbolism and meaning.  She creates original art and turns them into limited edition prints, décor items and fashion pieces. Phillipa has a clear talent and drive to create a long-lasting experience for her clients.

Mandy Holgate was one of the Businesss Trainers for In the Market for Success


Mayoress Ann Chillingworth, Jacqueline Hayward of Woofs and Meows, Mayor Peter Chillingworth

Katie Skingle and Sian Taylor