FSB Champions: Melanie Russell, Outside In Garden Rooms

FSB Member Story 28 Mar 2023

Meet Outside In Garden Rooms, a double award-winning Scottish business designing and building timber garden rooms. Co-founder Melanie Russell shares their start-up story.

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Melanie Russell is the co-founder of Outside In Garden Rooms, who design and build timber garden rooms in Central Scotland. Spotting an opportunity for contemporary garden rooms in 2017 when refurbishing her house, Melanie left her digital agency business and set out to research and develop the new venture.

Having won two years in a row at the Scotland FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards – Start-up of the Year and Family Business of the Year – Melanie knows how valuable getting involved in business awards can be. “There’s no question it brings kudos to our business. When we won an FSB Award, an uncle of mine did say, ‘Wow, you’ve won an FSB Award, you are serious at this,’ so it clearly does hold weight,” says Melanie.

Outside In Garden Rooms has big plans for the future, including expanding into new areas. “We've been going five years now and we've got a phenomenal track record in the residential sector. We've got brilliant reviews, client reviews, and fantastic clients who we keep in touch with all the time. The next step for us is to move into the glamping sector, taking our garden rooms and converting that exact tried and tested structure to supply to farmers, landowners and campsites.”

Melanie has been reassured by the support network offered by FSB on her journey from start-up to scale up. “I've been a member of the FSB since I started the business because I'm a big believer in taking advice. I joined networking groups to get my name out there because being a woman in the construction industry, it's good to get support from other people. As the business is growing, you take on more staff, so you’re going to have HR questions, something that we might not have necessarily thought about before. Having access to that with FSB was perfect.”

Want support for your business like Melanie? Join the Federation of Small Businesses today.

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