I am Fiona Douglas, of Bagstand.
What does your business do?
We have designed and manufactured a tableside bag hanger that enables customers in places such as restaurants, cafes and hairdressing salons to have a safe and hygienic place for their personal items.
It keeps the premises clutter free and offers the ultimate in customer service. There is also a domestic use to which my hallway will testify.
Where are you based?
I'm based in Glasgow's West End but I mainly operate online so our customers can be from anywhere.
How did you get started?
I was on a trip to South America and dining with colleagues when we were offered a stand for our handbags.
We were very impressed as it meant we didn't need to leave our items on the floor or under the table, which can be insecure, dirty and cause problems for the waiting staff.
While we were in South America I noticed all the restaurants had them inside and out. On my return I did some internet research to discover that while these stands were popular in countries including the US and Australia, they were not available in the UK.
So I designed my own version with a weatherproof marble rather than the commonly used wooden base. After a lot of hard work to make sure I got it right, I found the perfect manufacturer make my product.
What is your background?
I am long haul cabin crew for a national carrier and have been flying for 30 years, travelling around the world.
What is your top business tip?
I believe determination is important but so too is listening. Speaking to vast numbers of people has given me the chance to implement some great advice.
How long has your business been running?
I began designing the Bagstand last year and took our first order in January.
Has anyone helped you get started and how?
My son and daughter have helped me design the website and also took delivery of my first shipment as I was away flying. Business Gateway has also been a great help. I was awarded a start-up grant through Business Gateway's assistance which helped with further samples and promotional material.
What was your first deal?
My first deal was to a beauty salon. I gave them a trial of the Bagstand to see how it would help and this led to my first sale. It turned out to be a very popular addition to their salon.
What was your biggest mistake/what would you do differently?
It has been a steep learning curve and I am still learning, but thankfully I haven't had any disasters yet.
Where do you plan your business to be in five years time?
In five years I would love to be offering Bagstands in a variety of colours and styles to locations all over Europe.