Success Stories Listing

Researching new markets with confidence

Jamie Bruski Tetsill, founder of Shapes of Things/We Love Shapes

Researching new markets with confidence

Jamie is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Shapes of Things – discover how he's making the most of our international market research service and innovation support to take his fashion designs to the world.

Jamie Bruski Tetsill is the founder of Shapes of Things, a fashion start-up based in Glasgow. The company designs clothes and accessories for the kidswear market.

The company is already present in a number of overseas markets and recently secured distributors in the Benelux region with the aim of expanding further in Europe. We got in touch with Jamie to find out about his journey so far.

What support have you needed to grow your business?

"I've received significant ongoing support from Scottish Enterprise over the years. This has ranged from receiving partial start-up funding to actually form the company, as well as subsequent funding to help me develop the website.

"But critical to all of this has been the underlying support provided by Scottish Enterprise's international market research service to help me understand the issues, challenges and opportunities available in target markets.

"I first used the service three years ago, when I was writing the business plan for Shapes of Things. I needed to find out facts and stats on trends and top stores in a range of countries. The service gave me fully-funded access to expert researchers and subscription databases that provided just what I needed."

Our market research support has helped Shapes of Things to successfully enter many overseas countries, including:

  • USA (New York; Pennsylvania; Houston)
  • Australia (Sydney; Western Australia)
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Domestic UK market

Building rapport

Jamie has now used the market research service several times. He's built up a rapport with a dedicated researcher who knows his business strategy and how it has developed over time. 

Jamie Bruski Tetsill with his team at Shapes of Things/We Love Shapes

This means our researcher can provide the right information to Jamie, when he needs it.

"Scottish Enterprise helped me from day one. Since then I've built up an excellent relationship with my adviser who can now offer me more tailored responses since she knows my business."

Jamie has also benefited from integrated support from our international trade advisers – he describes them as "on-the-ball", "growth-driven" and "brilliant".

He added: "I was also successful in obtaining financial assistance under Scottish Enterprise's Make it to Market grant.

"I'll be using the grant to further develop existing exporting opportunities within the Benelux regions. This includes development of product labelling, product testing, sample creation and to physically get around my existing network to "close the deals" for the six outlets I already have in that region."

A sharp brief delivers the best results

"When I first made requests I didn’t know how to structure the briefs. I used to write “I’m looking for this, this, this and this” and got correspondingly vague responses. But now each time I send a request I stop and think: “What do I actually want to get out of this research?” This helps me to write a succinct brief and get the results my business needs."

For Jamie, the service is both “invaluable” and a resource that he can confidently “rely upon”.

"The research results keep getting better and better," he added. "I'd recommend it for businesses at any stage of their journey. I’m a creative person, and having that business support really helped me.

"Building a relationship with the international market research service team has also helped me become an expert at conducting my own research."

Where next for the company?

Jamie Bruski Tetsill, founder of Shapes of Things

"I've big, future plans to further develop my current exporting activities into Europe, the USA and Australia. I'll definitely be using Scottish Enterprise's free market research service to help me achieve these strategic goals.

"I've also been using their free online export plan tool and working more closely with my adviser to help identify, clarify and realise my export ambitions. I recommend that companies should speak with their own international trade adviser to start using this online support service."

We're ready when you need us

Our fully-funded international market research service provides tailored information and expertise. It takes just a few minutes to complete our online enquiry form and is available to all Scotland-based companies.

This service has been continually developed and refined in collaboration with our customers to make it as easy as possible to contact our research team.

Discover how we can help your business research opportunities abroad.

Next step

Looking for market intelligence to help grow your exports? Get in touch with our market research team today.