Sophie Tregellis

BA Philosophy
Talking about
Starting a business

Spotting a gap in the market for home-made, wholesome, healthy and fun dog biscuits, Sophie began making them at her parents’ home and selling them at dog shows. A chat with a University of Leeds careers adviser inspired her to take the enterprise to the next level.

In December 2012 the Careers Centre advised her to book a business meeting with Spark. “I hadn’t thought that my dog biscuits could be a serious business proposition but, having told the Careers Centre about my interests, they encouraged me to take the idea further,” she said. Just months later Sophie has now launched her business – Top Collar – and is this year’s winner of the Sir Peter Thompson Enterprise Award.

Winning the award has been the springboard Sophie needed to get the business up and running. “Some of the £5,000 prize money will be used to have the products analysed and tested so that they meet all the necessary regulations,” she said. “The biscuits can then be made at a production facility, freeing me up to promote the brand and launch the website.”

She added: “I’m not sure that I would have got this far without advice and encouragement from Spark – they’ve given me a whole new career direction.”