Zach Turner standing at his stall
Zach Turner standing at his stall

Every little thing

Zach Turner, from North Yorkshire, talks about his successful business, Country Life Kids, and how it all began…

Last September, on the third day at secondary school, I broke my leg quite badly. It resulted in three operations in two days – one of which saved my leg. I had to have a lot of time off school. I needed something to keep busy and this was where Country Life Kids began.

I started watching videos on YouTube on how to make things. I asked my dad to buy me some of the things I needed to get started, promising to pay him back from my sales. Then, with any extra money I made, I could buy more materials.

I started making keyrings, lanyards and game carriers, then progressed to dog leads. I use paracord for the lanyards and keyrings. I went through a trial-and-error phase, learning what lengths I needed so that I didn’t have too much waste. Once I had mastered these more basic items, I started making game carriers. These are more difficult and take about two to three hours to make but I enjoy it.

For the dog leads, I buy rope in reels and cut it to the lengths required. They are available in different styles, and I use different materials depending on the style. It takes me about 30 to 45 minutes to make a single lead.

One of my most interesting orders came from a gentleman who ordered 21 deluxe slip leads and 21 matching lanyards for his friends in Austria. He was lovely and very happy when he received them.

After some practice and making enough items, I began advertising on Instagram. It all went crazy! Through my recovery, more operations and physio, I’ve continued to grow Country Life Kids, expanding into having an Etsy shop and going to events such as the Ryedale Show and the international sheepdog trials at Castle Howard.

When I started sharing my items on my stories, too, and using more hashtags, more and more people began to follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Orders flooded in when people started sharing my page. I had to work on them during weekends and after school. I now make slip leads, double slip leads, keyrings, lanyards, game carriers and dog toys in a range of colours and styles.

I really wanted Country Life Kids to become something and make a difference. As I live in an area where shooting is part of many people’s lives, and my own family enjoys the sport, too, I looked at ways I could give something back.

I’m always looking for new ways to keep expanding the business and enjoy joining BASC at shows whenever possible. I continue to raise money for charities, such as the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust.

I only use a small amount of the earnings for myself, for essential things like a jacket which I have had branded with the Country Life Kids logo. I use the rest of the money to buy more materials and save up for university so I can study to be an agricultural vet.

I have met many kind individuals when attending events and shows – people who have come along and invited me to go to other events.

I’m proud of how far Country Life Kids has come in such a short time and I am excited for what the future might bring…

You can follow Country Life Kids on Facebook and Instagram, or you can visit my Etsy shop.