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How a Small Business Conquered the Lake District with Embroidered Patches

Nestled in the heart of the Lake District National Park, Conquer Lake District has grown from a kitchen side hustle to one of the most recognised memorabilia stores in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. A testament to the power of passion and quality custom products, their story highlights how it’s possible to transform a small business focused on embroidered hiking patches into a thriving enterprise.

The Patch That Started It All

Five & half years ago, Conquer Lake District embarked on a unique venture with embroidered patches as its primary product. Caroline, the mastermind behind the brand, envisioned a business model solely based on these patches. She shares her vision,

"We made the patches to sell. They were our entire business model back in the day. We have grown from a small kitchen table hustle to a large storefront, online shop, and supplier to over a hundred retailers. However, we still sell more patches than any other product. We built an entire business that now supports six staff members, all on patches!"

Their success highlights the potential of focusing on a single, outstanding product. It's a testament to the idea that, sometimes, simplicity is the key to building a brand.

A collection of patches from Conquer Lake District

Hiking Patches: A Connection to the Outdoors

Caroline and her team specialise in crafting hiking patches for the Lakeland Fells, aligning their product with the natural beauty of the Lake District. She explains,

"One of the biggest draws to the Lake District National Park is the opportunity to climb the 214 Wainwright Fells. We provide the merit badges for these. People can celebrate their achievements with one of our patches."

By aligning their product with the essence of their location, Conquer Lake District has created a powerful connection with their customers. Their patches are not just souvenirs; they are a symbol of adventure, a testament to the conquerors of nature.

The Power of Nostalgia in a Modern World

In a market characterised by conformity, standing out is essential. Conquer Lake District's success is rooted in the nostalgia and old-school charm of their patches. Caroline reflects,

"The nostalgic quality of our patches really set the tone for who we would become as a business. People love the return to old-school collecting, and we've built a reputation for being the best provider of quality souvenirs in the Lake District."

The essence of their merchandise captures the hearts of visitors and hikers alike. Conquer Lake District's patches stand out as unique and charming in a market dominated by generic, mass-produced products.

A beautiful patch symbolising the serenity of Lake Windermere.

Inspiring Connections and Memories

Beyond their commercial success, Conquer Lake District's patches have profoundly impacted their customers. Caroline notes,

"Our patches aren't just benefiting us. We receive messages every week telling us that our patches have inspired people to get outdoors or helped encourage their children to climb the fells. People have lots of connections and memories linked to the fells, and our patches are part of that."

Their products have woven themselves into the stories of adventurers and nature enthusiasts. It's a beautiful reminder that a business can be more than just a source of income; it can be a source of inspiration and connection.

As of October 2023, the Conquer Lake District website is undergoing a massive overhaul to keep up with the enormous demand for their products, and the best place to find them (until the new year) is their Instagram page.

A Blueprint for Organic Growth

Conquer Lake District's journey provides a blueprint for organic business growth. They've transitioned from a side hustle to a thriving enterprise while staying true to their roots. Caroline and her team's dedication and creativity are a testament to what can be achieved through commitment and an exceptional product, exceptional products that are Made by Cooper.

If their story inspires you and you have your own ideas, don't hesitate to get in touch. We're here to guide you in the right direction. Their story symbolises the transformative power of passion, creativity, and high-quality custom products. 

Your story could be the next chapter in the world of custom merchandise.

Made by Cooper
18 October 2022

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