Cosy Toes Business Awards
2009 The David Awards Finalist - Triumph over Adversity.
2010 New Zealand, South Island Enterprising Rural Women Award Winner.
2011 The David Awards Finalist - Most Outstanding Transitional Business.
2011 The David Awards Winner - Most Community Minded Business.
2012 MoneyWorks Business Angel Awards Finalist.
Judges comments: "Well done you have made a real difference to a lot of people this year. Cosy Toes is a worthy winner in this category. Congratulations Tracey"
Community At The Heart of Award Winner
Online, North Canterbury business, Cosy Toes has been named the winner of the Most Community Minded Business in the 2011 David Awards.
The David Awards recognise unsung heroes in home and small businesses throughout New Zealand, whose tenacity, courage and ingenuity place them firmly at the forefront of entrepreneurship in this country.
Cosy Toes was also named a finalist in, Most Outstanding Transitional Business category. The judging panel of this year’s event were impressed with the consistently high calibre of entries across the board and were especially pleased to see the record number of entries in the Most Outstanding Transitional Business category, which recognises business moving from the start-up phase to maturity.
The mother of two set up her online business retailing merino wool socks almost seven years ago after struggling to find woollen socks for her young children.
"I grew up on a sheep farm and I know the difference between wool and synthetic products. I couldn't believe I couldn't find woollen socks when New Zealand's heritage is wool," she said.
Research on the internet revealed few manufacturers were producing woollen clothing. Much of New Zealand's wool was being exported as a raw product or used in the high end fashion industry, she said.
Setting up her label, Cosy Toes, Ms Robinson began by manufacturing quality merino socks in New Zealand for babies and children but the label has now grown to include a wide range of adult merino socks as well as expanding into merino wool clothing for children and women.
Today, her client base is international.
"The website is our life link to the world and no one would really know that all this is operated from a little rural town," Ms Robinson said. "People, too, are using the internet more and more for online shopping and social networking."
Tracey has always liked to give back as much as she can to the community but her most recent was in February 2010 when the devastating earthquakes struck Christchurch. She quickly made Cosy Toes a base for others in New Zealand to help those families affected and in need of help.
“We live only an hour north of Christchurch and life was carrying on as normal here with so much devastation down the road.” Robinson says. “I found out what families needed the most in Christchurch through phoning the Salvation Army and the police.” Through her clients and using social networking she put the call out for any donations of nappies or baby wipes to be sent to Cosy Toes and from there, Tracey would make sure the goods got through to Christchurch. “The response was amazing and in the end we delivered to Christchurch, nearly 4000 nappies and around 6000 wipes as well as boxes and boxes of other donations – baby food, formula, and sanitary items for example.”
Cosy Toes also currently supports The Rural Women New Zealand’s project with the sale of their merino Aftersocks. All proceeds for these go to The Christchurch Mayoral Fund.
Organizer of the Awards, Heather Douglas, says, “Home, small and micro businesses are often the start of something bigger and it’s important to nurture this sector as we see some remarkable success stories start from simple beginnings. There are also many, many small businesses which do not intend ever to grow beyond a certain size but whose contribution to the economy and the local social fabric is vital to New Zealand. These businesses are often overlooked but, without them, their communities and New Zealand as a whole would be much poorer. The judges have been impressed at the varied field of entries and the way in which, even in the current economy, these inspirational businesses are achieving the kinds of successes they are.”