From Matt’s experience as a Sustainability Consultant, he learned that women are significantly more adversely impacted by climate change and downstream supply chain issues. This realisation, along with Joby’s background in Graphic Design and their shared lifelong passion for outdoor sports, formed the foundations of a business idea and from that, Dryad was created.

The market they entered was saturated with products made from materials with questionable sustainability properties, manufactured by large companies boasting a wider marketing reach. Their greatest challenge was raising awareness regarding the superiority of sustainable materials, which would undoubtedly last longer and outperform the competition in the long run. Despite the challenges they faced when entering this over saturated market, the quality of their product and high levels of customer satisfaction enabled them to achieve steady growth through word-of-mouth. Genuine runners from all levels provided valuable feedback that drove their product development, leading to the creation of an engaged community.

How Start Up Loans supported Matt and Joby to turn their passion into a business

After Brexit, Covid and the birth of a baby, in April 2021 Matt, a triathlete and outdoors-enthusiast, and Joby, a graphic designer with a passion for running, approached Business in Focus for support to obtain a £25,000 loan from the Start Up Loans Company. Business Advisor, David Garner, helped them with the loan application and to secure the funding and since then, Dryad have gone on to become Start Up Loans Ambassadors for Wales.

The Goal

Dryad set out to make the finest quality, but sustainable, sportswear while fighting for better equality in sport. They wanted to build a brand that has integrity, is fair and transparent in its goals enabling them to provide opportunities and support.

Women’s Running Product Awards

Amongst more than 800 competing products manufactured by a variety of companies, their Eido running shorts garnered special recognition when Women’s Running awarded them the prestigious Editor’s Choice title in their 2022 Product Awards.

Plans for the future

As Dryad continue to grow manageably, their aim to produce high quality outdoor sportswear remains top priority along with their unwavering support for women gaining access to sports at all levels. New ideas for women’s fitness are in the pipeline and product unveilings are on the horizon.

What is a Start Up Loan?

A Start Up Loan is a government-backed personal loan available to individuals over 18 years old, looking to start or grow a business in Wales. The main goal of the Start Up Loans scheme is to ensure that viable start-ups have access to the finance and support they need in order to thrive.

To apply for a Start Up Loan, contact our team on 01656 868545 or visit: