CuparNow KnowHow – Go Zeco
We are making May 2021 our ‘Live Sustainably‘ month when we’ll be focusing on all businesses and organisations who are promoting sustainable living across the town. We’re kicking off with another profile in our KnowHow series, showcasing the skills and talents of those working in Cupar. We caught up with Fiona Bracegirdle to discover more about her business, Go Zeco.
Not many businesses chose to launch last year, but one Fife born and bred sports massage therapist decided to take the plunge. Fiona explains: “Over the last few years, I have become very aware of the amount of pollution in our environment. Whether that be car fumes from the ever-growing number of cars on the roads or single-use plastics littering our streets – it wasn’t nice to see.”
She made a few changes to try and reduce her own carbon footprint – driving a hybrid car, decreasing her annual mileage, and avoiding buying single-use plastic as much as possible. “This was a start, but I had a strong urge to make more of a positive impact.”
Fiona did some market research and found out about Enlighten (Cupar’s wellbeing community hub). “I went along to their first Waste Less Pop-Up event (organised by Alvina Menzies – the hub’s Leadership & Wellbeing Coach) and it was obvious we were both passionate about the environment. When I put forward my idea of an eco-friendly/refill shop, Alvina was very enthusiastic and offered me rental space within the hub.”
In the last few years, more and more ‘zero waste’ shops have been popping up all over the country. “That is fantastic news and as part of my research, I visited a couple of local zero-waste businesses – The Little Green Larder in Dundee and Grain & Sustain in Burntisland. I came away inspired and determined to set up this kind of shopping experience closer to home.”
Fiona’s background is in sport – both through University (studying sports & exercise science) and on a competitive level with duathlons. “My main occupation is as a sports massage therapist, but I also enjoy time away from work to catch up with friends and family, listen to podcasts, and spend time in nature. It is that love for our environment that led me to launch Go Zeco.”
Go Zeco opened in August last year (2020) as Cupar’s very own eco-friendly shop and refill station. Fiona adds: “Although my main aims are to reduce single-use plastic and encourage people to shop locally, my partnership with Enlighten has the added benefit of helping the community.” She explains: “Rent paid to use space within the hub is reinvested in the local community to offer holistic therapies to those less fortunate.”
Fiona runs the business primarily on her own, but with the help of volunteers, when needed, through the Enlighten hub. She continues with her sports & remedial massage work, saying: “I am a fully qualified therapist working in clinics in Cupar and St Andrews. I set up FB Massage 5 years ago, taking inspiration from my sporting background and my experience of the benefits of massage during my career as a duathlete (running & cycling). Although my two businesses are very different, they both require a commitment to hard work and determination.”
And it is that hard work and determination that has resulted in real achievements and success for Fiona: “On a personal level, my greatest achievement is gaining four medals at the World Age Group Duathlon Championships – one of which was a gold! On a business level, I am proud of the fact that I have built two businesses from scratch.” She adds: “FB Massage has a loyal client base, many of whom have come through word-of-mouth and personal recommendation, and in Go Zeco’s first months of trading, the steady increase in number of repeat customers has enabled me to expand the range of products on offer in response to that growing demand.”
As with all of our profile features, we asked Fiona what she’d recommend to anyone visiting Cupar for the first time or for the first time in a long time: “A walk by the River Eden to hopefully see the local otters and heron … then treat yourself to a famous Fisher & Donaldson’s fudge doughnut, and of course visit Go Zeco at Enlighten in Bonnygate!”
Thanks for reading!