Small Business Saturday Blog

Holy cow in Westmorland

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 at 13:00

Based in Appleby in Westmorland, Cumbria, Lauren's Cows is a mother/daughter partnership that was created to market Lauren Terry’s original artwork. Lauren paints cows – yes, only cows! She paints portraits of actual cows, who she has usually met in person. Lauren aims to capture the personality of each individual animal, then introduces a lot of colour, which makes each painting vibrant and guaranteed to raise a smile.
The business started entirely by accident when Lauren, living in London and working as an actress, painted a picture of a cow for her flat. The framer who framed the painting was very impressed and asked to be introduced. She returned from the meeting full of excitement: the framer told her that if she painted 15 more cows, he would stage an exhibition for her. The exhibition went well, so Lauren and her mum, Jude, set up a very basic website, and the business was born.
They now both work full time at Lauren's Cows, and also sell fine art prints, greetings cards and a range of homeware alongside the original artwork, all featuring Lauren's colourful, characterful cows. While they currently sell mainly on-line through their own website and Etsy, they have an increasing number of trade customers, mostly independent gift shops, and Lauren also works to commission.
Lauren and Jude are avid supporters of fellow small businesses. They only work with carefully chosen British manufacturers, and Jude told us, “Most of our suppliers are also small businesses, and all in the UK. Our prints are produced by three different businesses, all of which are one-man bands, and most of our shipping boxes are made by a chap in a village 30 minutes from me.”
Jude added, “We are so impressed with the way in which a global organisation like American Express take so much time and trouble to support small businesses. I think people are beginning to realise that small businesses are great to do business with. They are different, they care and we love the way in which American Express help us to do that with initiatives like Shop Small.”
As well as supplying to trade customers, most of which are independent shops, Lauren’s Cows also loan artwork to local establishments, which enhances their premises and gives Lauren’s artwork more exposure. Currently, some of Lauren’s Cows are enjoying life at two independently owned pubs, a deli in Appleby and a conference centre for disadvantaged people in Carlisle.
They also donate redundant art materials to their local primary school, support the Cash for Kids charity in both Cumbria and York by donating both goods and money to their various appeals, and have an ongoing tree planting policy in the local area.
Visit Lauren’s Cows online here. Click here to find out more about the American Express Shop Small campaign.


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