Female Founders


“It’s a cosmopolitan town and we have all sorts of people here from all over the world thanks to the docks, the university and the tourist industry. Success here comes from staying true to your core values, listening to your customers and above all offering amazing customer service. I really wouldn’t want to do business anywhere else.”

Along with its picturesque setting, eclectic high street and outstanding coastline, Falmouth in Cornwall is continually inspiring a new generation of female design, makers and retailers.

Featured regularly by the Sunday Times as a perennial Best Place to Live and winner of the best Coastal Community at the Great British High Street Awards, Falmouth boasts over 200 independent outlets within three square miles and is buoyed by around 750,000 visitors each year. The success of the creative enterprises in this entrepreneurial ‘port with a purpose’, lie in the year-round business opportunities that are being carved out by a new wave of innovative owners.

This diversity of consumer options, aligned with its compelling location, vibrant year-round festivals programme and support from an award-winning Town Management Team, has attracted an impressive portfolio of quality driven business owners.

Willow & Stone, brainchild of Sarah Willshaw, perfectly fits this mould. Situated on Falmouth’s Arwenack Street and loved by locals and visitors alike, the shop sources and sells door furniture, period fittings and traditional quality products, as well as beautiful stationery and homewares, all complementing its burgeoning e-commerce site. The company ethos encourages all employees to choose between part-time or full-time so they can build and nurture their own projects in addition to their hours at Willow & Stone.

Meanwhile, there’s an equally creative buzz just down the road at Cream Cornwall, and links to Australia. Co-owners Rebecca Heane and Allison Hughes design and create all of their patterns and products from their studio above their flagship shop in Falmouth. Here, they take inspiration from the heritage, colours and coastline of Cornwall. The brand was born from a desire to share what they have on their doorstep; the colours of Cornwall, it’s ever changing skies, wild and rugged coastline, sandy coves and sheltered creeks. A recently opened second store in St Ives, another in the pipeline and a strong online business is proof that Cornwall is a place where business can flourish.