After the success of The Country Girls UK in such a short space of time, we caught up with founder Tania Coxon to talk about the group’s rapid growth and how they’ve adapted during the pandemic.
Membership has grown very rapidly – is that continuing?
Indeed it is, the pandemic hasn’t stopped us from giving our members value for money. Of course, nothing beats a game or simulated day out in the field with The Country Girls UK, but we’re not short of content to keep our members entertained and learning in lockdown. It has given us all a chance to step back and welcome so many new members and really create a community like no other. I have been blown away by the response we’ve had to our memberships, especially with everything going on. It has been made very clear to me since starting the brand in November 2020 there has been such a gap in the market for a practical women’s shooting community like The Country Girls UK.
How do you promote and market the group?
Since we launched in November all of our marketing has been done through social media, our Instagram and Facebook pages have brought in pretty much all of our members. Once the world gets back to normal, we will have stalls at events such as The Game Fair to help increase our awareness and bring more like minded women together but at this moment in time, the response we have had from our social platforms alone has kept us more than busy.
How is your clothing range developing?
Being a farmer, I am a huge sucker for backing British and I always will be. I have designed the clothing from a practical perspective and what I would want in my clothing being a very keen female shot myself. I have been working very closely with an incredible fashion designer to add the ‘trendy’ aspect to the clothing (apparently overalls don’t make the cut!). Our manufacturer has been hit pretty hard due to the pandemic and therefore it is taking a lot longer than I would have liked but I’m very keen to stick with our current manufacturer and support them throughout.
Are you looking for further partnerships in the industry?
Yes, a huge part of our ethos is supporting British rural businesses. We have a platform on our website known as The CGUK Marketplace. This is a page completely dedicated to promoting smaller British businesses and giving them a platform to shout about what they do. We have some absolutely fantastic brands on there and it is the perfect place to browse for UK based businesses when looking for gifts for loved ones or a more personal treat.
Is this a full-time job for you?
No, my full-time job is an arable farmer. I manage a couple thousand of acres in the North East of England with my dad and that keeps me very busy. When I’m not in a combine I’m usually out shooting pigeons and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always seem to make time for The Country Girls UK though, especially with the pandemic, where time has been in abundance.
The extra time the pandemic, and the various lockdowns have afforded me, gave me a chance to think about the future of The Country Girls UK and more importantly gave me the opportunity to give it the push forward it needed.
Do you think more women are getting involved in shooting?
When I set out to build the community the underlying aim was always to get as many women involved in shooting as possible. There’s a sentence on our website that describes this beautifully. At my time in writing, the demographic of shotgun certificates that are owned by women in the UK is 6%.
Yes, you read that right, out of the 538,313 people that own a shotgun license at this moment in time only 32,298 of those individuals are female. Why did I start The Country Girls UK? Because of that figure right there. My goal? To increase that figure every single year.