Where Are We

We are completely immersed in nature here on our peninsula in Studland on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, watching our heath, shoreline and woodland change throughout the seasons is a constant source of inspiration for us. We have designed our foraging and wild food adventures to get you close to nature and to let us guide you through what makes this area of Dorset so special and unique.
Fore / Adventure
The Hutquarters, Middle Beach, Studland
01929 761515 | 07933 507165
[email protected]

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01929 761515 | 07933 507165

Mon - Sat 8.00 - 18.00

Being a women in business from co-founder of Fore Jade | #InternationalWomensDay

Jade

Being a women in business from co-founder of Fore Jade | #InternationalWomensDay

Being a women in business : advantages, challenges, and opportunities by co-founder of Fore / Adventure Jade Scott. Jade and her husband Dan searched for an opportunity that would allow them to live a new life in the countryside and have more freedom to connect with the outdoors. 12 years and 3 children later Jade and Dan are still living their life through adventure. Find out how they started their business and how Jade plays a vital role as co-founder.

Jade. What’s it like to be a woman in business?

I would like to think it is no different to being a male but in my opinion there is still some disparity in all industries and some work to do to level up the playing field. I have come from a very male dominated industry having trained to be an architect and although this was not an easy role for a woman, it was not impossible. My feeling is that it is up to us as women to try to change that imbalance and up to all men to support us in doing that. We have a duty to our next generation to close the gap and ensure there is gender equality.

I took a different pathway into the outdoor industry from my previous job, this was in part due to becoming a mother and finding that a part time role in architecture was not workable given the job description. There could be an element of unfairness in that but I am happy with the choice I made, it was not because I couldn’t do both, I was lucky that there was support there if I chose to but I wanted more control over my own time and the environment I would bring my children up in. I was lucky I had choices to make.

Working in a partnership (with my husband) means that we can both bring different skills to the table and have the opportunity to have very different roles within the business. I came from a more creative pathway so take the lead on the marketing and PR but I also get stuck in and run the foraging and feast workshops and trained to be a beach and forest school practitioner so that I can be fully involved in the business from the ground up. I think it’s important to have this connection with your business and staff team so that you have an understanding of what the team do and what your customers are experiencing first hand. I also think it’s important for my children to see both their parents taking the lead in different areas of the business but still be able to get stuck in and work as a team.

How did the idea for the business come about?

We spent our former years living and working in cities, I spent my waking hours on the computer screen, my husband Dan was a qualified outdoor instructor but became a manager in an outdoor centre. He ended up spending more and more of his days overseeing others running the activities which got him hooked in the outdoor lifestyle in the first place. We got married and had our first daughter Molly and our perspective just shifted, we yearned to escape the rat race, it’s a cliche but we fell into it.

We searched for an opportunity that would allow us to live a new life in the countryside we romanticised about and to connect with nature as part of our daily life. My aunt lived in Dorset and told us about a little hut on Studland beach that had come up for lease with the National Trust, we knew it was the missing piece of the puzzle and we haven’t looked back since.

Why did you choose the name Fore?

We started up the business with that little hut and 4 sea kayaks, we built up a good reputation for kayaking but over the years the direction of the business changed as we did, we added more strings to our bows and I became more actively involved, not just running the behind the scenes but training to become a beach school and forest school leader so that Dan and I could work together.

We chose to rebrand and picked the name Fore / Adventure for what it stands for; before, in front of, for, before, formerly; meaning to be proactive in seeking adventure and we felt it allowed us to be unrestricted. Through the last 12 years we have seen such big changes in the way we work and what people want, as a small business we have been able to react quickly to trends and the needs of our customers. We chose an identity that allowed us to keep developing and didn’t tie us down to one venture, we felt using Fore would future proof the brand to allow us to expand the business should we want to at a later stage.

How did you start the business and would you have done anything differently?

Although it’s all a distant memory now I am not going to sugar coat it, it was a real challenge. Molly our eldest, was only 2 months old when we tendered for the lease with the National Trust, I had only just got my head around having a newborn baby and broken sleep and it was a difficult decision to take the risk of losing a steady income. We had a tense few months of interviews and business planning before we got the go ahead but when we got that phone call we were on cloud nine.

With hindsight my only regret is that we should have upped sticks and moved straight way but we were cautious and wanted to test the water in the event the business didn’t work, so for the first summer we commuted and were lucky enough to stay with family in Swanage. Then when we were ready the architect in me couldn’t resist the challenge of a project, so it wasn’t until a year later and with our second daughter Poppy in tow that our house was ready and we moved to Swanage. Another year later our third daughter Olive arrived and our feet finally touched the ground!

It’s quite a change of pace! do you miss city life?

I spent the first few transitional years going backwards and forwards between city living and country life when we were setting up the business, commuting between our old life and what was to be our new one, and they were so different. We were renovating a property in Swanage and had just finished our house in Southampton, it was just as we wanted it and had taken years to get it that way, I worried about what we were giving up, our friends, our steady jobs, everything that was familiar, but it was easy to leave behind in the end. Every time I turned off the engine and stepped foot on Dorset soil it felt so right, it felt like coming home.

What are the pro’s and cons to running your own business?

Running your own business is exciting, your achievements make you proud, but you don’t have protected time or the security and benefits you have working for someone else so you have to be prepared for that. Our reward is the life we live, the flexibility we have around our children and the little things like happy customers who come again and again, foraging for supper and cooking up our freshly caught mackerel on the beach, watching the girls running in and out of the sea shrieking with delight at the end of a busy day. It’s hard work and the days are long, you do worry about competition and staying true to who you are, not trying to keep up with everyone else but we made a conscious decision to side step, to try and offer something unique and personal and it seems to be working.

Is this what you thought the business would look like?

The business has grown so organically that what we started off with is so different to what we have now, so I guess the answer would have to be no. This isn’t a bad thing for me, as I like to adapt and make changes in the way we live and work to suit our lifestyle and try new things, this is the bonus of being self employed. Both the failures and successes we have had have really shaped our business and allowed us to learn a whole heap about who we are, who our customers are and ultimately what we want to be. There’s still a way to go but we are enjoying the journey and biding our time, happy being the tortoise not the hare.

How do you work around running a seasonal business?

It is really important to us that Fore would always be a family run business and that we wouldn’t sell out, or hand over too much of the control in case it would lose our personal touch or the passion we have. However as we have grown we have come to realise that we do need help and we can’t do it all, it’s just choosing those helpers wisely and delegating well. We have a fantastic team and we wouldn’t be who we are without them. They really buy into the ethos of the business and are as passionate about it as we are.

Over the winter months we drop down to a skeleton team, we still forage and run workshops and events but the pace is gentler to us during this period, most of my energy here goes into marketing, PR and planning for the season ahead which takes up a lot of my time. We are just starting to come into the peak season and it is really satisfying seeing all of our plans made over the winter come together. The main season from May – September is full throttle, during this time we have more staff and other members of the fore team will deliver sessions on the beach and assist us in running the adventures and the events like our forage + feasts.

How do your three girls fit in with the business and how does it benefit them?

Our girls are a big part of our business, hutquarters is fondly known to them as ‘the kayak house’ it’s become like a second home to them. When Molly was a baby she would come to work with us everyday that first summer, and now with her sisters in tow they are regular faces with the customers and the ice cream kiosk! Having young children changes your outlook and so our motivation for setting up our beach school and forest school sessions was partly because we felt that we wanted the girls to benefit from the effort we put into the business, we could see from how they responded to the experiences we were giving them that other children would gain from it too. We have work with their schools and other school and youth groups, to see children enjoying and engaging with what we are doing is the best thumbs up we could wish for.

Having three girls it’s important to us to show them that they can do just as much as boys and have access to the same experiences. Self belief starts young and we want them to grow up feeling empowered and not limited in any way. We strongly believe that allowing girls to take risks in the outdoors makes them more capable, confident and able to take risks and push themselves in school and other environments too.

Where do you see the business in 5 years time?

Our little saying is that we are not looking for world domination and it’s so true. We are ambitious but this is driven by a love for what we are doing rather than a dream scenario or monetary reward, having said that we do want to keep progressing and challenging ourselves. We have plans in place for new ventures in the future and we are working towards them, the biggest challenge is finding the time to develop the other business streams aswell as run the business.

What has been your biggest challenge so far and has this affected your future plans?

The last few years working through the pandemic has been hard, it really made us refine what we are offering and re-evaluate the business which has been a beneficial exercise and made us work more efficiently.

We have also recently diversified and obtained a seaweed foraging licence from the crown estate to commercially harvest seaweed along the Dorset coast so we will be launching our new sister brand sae seaweed this year to complement Fore / Adventure. This will boost off season income and staff opportunities within the team and to offer our clients something tangible to take home with them.

Alongside this venture we have recently purchased a Citroen H Van which will enable us to take our events on the road throughout Dorset and further afield. We hope this can allow us to reach a wider audience and due to the restrictions we are looking to start hosting our events like our regular ‘forage and feast’ and ‘bushcraft days’ outside under canvas, this will enable us to be adaptable and respond to any new rules and regulations about social distancing and groups that may happen in the future.

How do you come up with new ideas for the business?

All of our ideas seem to derive from our personal experiences, interests and the feedback we get from our clients. We both enjoy food and love to forage and it became apparent that our customers did too, they would book a kayaking adventure and unbeknown to them come back 3 hours later with a fistful of sea vegetables and a boat full of mackerel to cook up on the beach, hence forth our ‘kayak, fish, forage and feast’ was born. Each season brings new bounty and we love to share what we find and use it to make up recipes to post on our blog and inspire people to go out and forge some adventures of their own. We found that our audience were really engaging with our ideas to reconnect our plate with our environment, and decided to offer our ‘foraged feasts’, to celebrate nature’s larder. We love the simple things and we want to show people that it is simple to do, with a bit of knowledge and our help they can do it too.

Is there such a thing as an average day for you?

We get up to a whole heap of adventures on our coastal patch, from foraging to feasting, bushcraft to beachschool, kayaking to coasteering, stand up paddleboarding and more, but the common thread that ties our adventuring days together is our die-hard love; wild food, it always features – for example one day we can be hosting a family bushcraft and foraging sessions for families, building shelters, making natural treasures and foraging for seashore edibles, the next we can be hosting an overnight wild camp and kayaking foraging adventure for a corporate group.

There really is no such thing as an average day with fore, I guess what we offer is so varied that no one day is going to be repeated, the conditions are always different, the seasons are forever changing and the clients are rarely the same.

For me one day I am preparing for an event and the next I can be talking to journalists or working with another brand to create content for them, liaising with photographers and event planners. I believe that running your own business should be fun and rewarding, you have to put so much energy into it and give a lot so you really need to enjoy it. I am so lucky that my role within the business is incredibly varied which is why I am still being challenged 12 years later, I am happy to carry on for as long as it keeps making me happy and allows me to have the freedom to be creative and follow my passions.

What would you say to other women looking to make a change in career or start up their own business?

I would encourage them to have a go! Plan carefully and do your research, I was fortunate to be in partnership with someone who had experience of the industry and this has been key to our success, try to get hands on experience in the field you’re going into if you haven’t got any already. I also think you need to be creative and think about how you can stand out from your competitors and define early on what your USP will be, find something that people will connect with and tell your story; people will want to hear about it.

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