A little bit about me

dotty hippo design

Hi, I'm Louise, a graphic designer and the owner of dotty hippo design.

It has always been a dream to set up my own business and in August 2009, that became a reality! I enjoy working with businesses and creating brochures and marketing materials to help promote their business, products and services.

I work with a variety of different companies throughout Thurrock, London and the South East. No two projects are the same.

Proud moments

Setting up my own business was such an achievement and in 2012, I was excited to be shortlisted as a finalist in the New Company category at the Thurrock Business Awards. It was a fantastic evening celebrating businesses in Thurrock and it was a lovely surprise to be announced as the winner of New Company of the Year.

Following on from that, I was a finalist for Small Business of the Year in both the Thurrock and Essex Countywide Awards and also a finalist at the Thurrock Civic Awards.

Thurrock Network Group

The Thurrock Network Group has now been running for 10 years. A group of small business owners meet and network once a month and I love being part of this business community. I am also a member of the Thurrock Business Board where I represent small businesses in Thurrock.

Career background

I have worked in the graphic design industry for 20 years. It all began in the advertising department of a large publishing company in London. Working closely with printers, I gained extensive print knowledge over the years. My understanding of the print process has been invaluable and put into practice for many of the design projects that require print.


Thurrock Network Group

Networking for local businesses

Having set up my own business, I found that the best way to meet with other local businesses was to network. There was a lack of free networking events around Thurrock so I decided to launch the Thurrock Network Group. The group has been running since March 2010 and is still going strong today!

The aim of the networking group is for local businesses to make connections, build relationships and do business together.

New members are welcomed and I try to make them feel as comfortable as possible. We’ve all been there so we are aware of how nervous people can be.

The meetings

I wanted to keep the meetings fairly informal and relaxed. The structure of the meetings is simple. We start chatting and networking over coffee and a croissant, or fruit if you want the healthy option.

I then get my timer out and the 60 second round begins. Everyone takes a turn in explaining their business and what they do. It’s amazing how excited people get when they finish as the timer goes! Practice does make perfect. Your pitch is what people will remember, so make it count!

There is time after for people to chat and network before the meeting ends.

I am so proud of this group and how it has grown over the years. There is a variety of businesses that attend and the support that everyone gives to each other is great to see. Networking takes time to establish relationships. Once they are established, the trust is there and that is when business happens.

Come along and join us

The meetings take place on the 3rd Thursday of every month at The Old Courthouse in Grays from 8.00am – 9.30am.


Take a look at the Thurrock Network Group website for more information