Skip to main content

No results found

Oxfordshire Care Homes Digital Banners 1110x120 08012024 epo6gf

Pursuing A Passion

Muddy Paws


In a world where traditional career paths once reigned supreme, a new generation of young entrepreneurs is challenging the status quo and pursuing their passions. These ambitious individuals understand that true success comes from aligning their work with their interests and talents, fuelled by their unwavering passion.

The rise of passion-based businesses among young entrepreneurs has gained significant popularity, even in our own county. A survey conducted in 2022 by gaming company PLAION revealed that Oxford was home to some of the most ambitious young adults in the country, with 2,000 individuals aged between 18-30 participating. Additionally, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicated that more new businesses were established in Oxfordshire last year than ever before, solidifying its position as one of the UK's most successful counties for business.

One inspiring tale from our local community is that of Ella, a young business owner who, at the age of 20, transformed her love for dogs into a thriving enterprise. Ella embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that led to the creation of Muddy Paws—a venture initially focused on providing exceptional dog walking services in the Chipping Norton and Hook Norton area. Within just one year, this startup flourished, expanding to encompass not only dog walking but also natural dog treats and enrichment products.

Ella's story began when she realised that her career as a veterinary nurse did not fulfil her need for a happy work-life balance. “I was ready mentally for a change. I knew that I needed to be active, outdoors in nature every day and set my own hours. I wanted to create a business that worked for me.” Motivated by her love for dogs and a passion for improving their lives, she decided to make a meaningful impact in a different way. Taking a leap of faith, she established Muddy Paws. Combining her affinity for animals with her entrepreneurial spirit, Ella set out to offer a dog walking service that exceeded expectations, providing personalised attention and care.

Through her unwavering dedication, a commitment to excellence, and her qualifications and experience, Ella’s dog walking service gained rapid popularity. Word-of-mouth recommendations spread like wildfire, quickly filling her schedule. Recognising the potential for growth, Ella expanded her business by introducing natural dog treats and enrichment toys. Muddy Paws Natural Dog Treats, an online shop, was launched as an extension of the business, and a monthly subscription model was recently introduced, delivering personalized treat boxes to customers' doors each month. Ella not only diversified her offerings but also tapped into the growing demand for high-quality, natural pet products.

However, Ella's success has extended beyond the quality of her services and products. During her first year in business, she tirelessly built her brand locally, attending dog shows, sponsoring events, supporting dog shelters, and setting up pop-up shops at agricultural shows and village events. Through these efforts, she became an active member of the local pet-loving community, establishing strong relationships with customers and solidifying Muddy Paws' reputation as a trustworthy and caring business. “I was always an animal lover, even as a small child. I loved the company of animals, especially horses and dogs. And I still do!” Customer satisfaction was at the forefront of Ella's approach, as she took the time to understand the unique needs and preferences of each dog in her care, ensuring they received personalised attention and affection.

Ella's story exemplifies the significance of embracing one's passions and being brave. When individuals pursue their interests and align them with their work, they can create successful ventures and achieve remarkable accomplishments. Ella's love for dogs served as the driving force behind her entrepreneurial journey, leading to not only professional success but also personal fulfilment.

Through Ella's example, other local aspiring entrepreneurs can find inspiration and learn valuable lessons. Breaking away from conventional paths and forging their own requires courage. However, by wholeheartedly embracing their passions and dedicating themselves, they can create fulfilling, purpose-driven, and financially rewarding businesses. As other young entrepreneurs navigate their own paths, Ella's story stands as one of inspiration, encouraging everyone to relentlessly pursue their passions and unlock their full potential.

Ella has been nominated for The Cherwell Business Awards and The Barclays Entrepreneur Awards, 2023 and winners of both awards will be announced later this Summer.

If you would like to find out more about Muddy Paws, find Ella on Instagram @muddypawsnaturaldogtreats or online at

Resources & Support for Young Entrepreneurs in Oxfordshire:


SA9 0579 ady0l9
Mon 15 Apr 2024

Moreton Show 2024 is the place to get your golden ticket to compete at the 75th Horse of the Year Show! The Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) holds qualifiers across the country, giving competitors the chance to go head-to-head for a sought-after spot at one of the most esteemed equine shows in the world.

meadow hqcq95
Wed 10 Apr 2024

Meadows are wonderful, evolving entities. The first year of any meadow it has a huge array of beautiful annuals for colour, however your subsequent years are always a fantastic surprise as to what you will get. Different flowers will germinate in different years all dependant on the condition of the soil, weather etc.

Hedgelands cover otumlw
Tue 9 Apr 2024

In his latest book, freelance journalist, author and novelist Christopher Hart explores the history and ecology of Britain’s hedges.

Julia and Ian r0jtev
Tue 9 Apr 2024

When artist Julia Sorrell contacted me to see if I thought our readers might be interested in the story of how she and husband, Ian, renovated their property in Shipton-under-Wychwood, I jumped at the chance to learn more. Their aim was to use as many recycled materials as possible, and they will be opening their home to visitors during Oxfordshire Artweeks in May.