Steve Bridger

Author, Writer, Pre Start-Up Coach & Trainer – and Entrepreneur

Sharing the experiences of setting up and running my own small business:


A4 Land SR VG

Spanish Rings – The inspiration behind Success Before Start-Up



 Shared Experiences

I wrote ‘Success before Start-Up’ to share my experiences of having an idea then starting a business to bring it to life,  and to share the successes and share the mistakes and problems I experienced along the way.

My initial idea was to create a new ‘hanging basket’, something in the gardening market that could become a standard item for gardeners to decorate their houses and gardens, to join the circular baskets of flowers you see every spring and summer.   If you’ve been to Spain you may have seen flowers flowing from balconies or hanging on walls.  That inspired me to create a product that produced the same effect that was strong and easy to use.    The picture above shows a Wall Ring with a blue and white spotted pot.  The first product in the range that was launched in 1999.

I started by going to a local metal worker who made some samples to my design. The next step was to get some production samples made and  calculate outline costs to help me set a trade price and retail price.  Creating a name, brand identity and trade mark came next.  Spanish Rings won the 1999 Garden Centre New Product of the Year Award.

4 Oaks Award - Copy

In 2000 I managed to put a set of Spanish Rings into the hands of Alan Titchmarsh of the BBC Ground Force programme.  A month later Spanish Rings were featured for a whole eight seconds in a background shot.  As a result Spanish Rings went from 25 to 75 garden centres in six weeks.  Over time the brand has moved away from garden centres due to a high cost of sales to this sector.  It has now evolved into an international mail order brand with worldwide sales.

Author Biography

Steve started as an Account Executive in advertising with Young & Rubicam then moved to CDP – Collett Dickenson Pearce, working as an account manager on blue-chip accounts.  . He moved into sales promotion and integrated marketing and became a board director at a marketing agency. Steve won the ITMA Gold Award for Sales Promotion.

Having been involved with developing campaigns, copywriting and project management to agency clients he went freelance and created  Spanish Rings.  As well as winning the New Product of the Year Award, Steve won the Silver Award in National Gardening Awards for the introduction of Water Rings, a Spanish Rings range extension.

He writes short stories and has just completed his first novel ‘One Degree North’ that will be published in 2014.


Mijas Bull Ring 002