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GM Business Growth Hub provides stepping stone to success for innovative dog shower

A Greater Manchester business went from ideation to commercialisation by drawing on the network of innovation support to overcome its challenges.

Glance at the website of design engineering business Fabricon Design Ltd, with its recent examples of airport lighting, fenestration and cash machine projects, and pet sanitation doesn’t necessarily spring to mind.

But thanks to unlocking a wide range of transformational business support, the Ashton-under-Lyne company is poised to make a big splash with its new product line: the UK’s first domestic home dog shower.

The idea came to Rebecca Lee, Project/Compliance Manager at Fabricon, when her daughter got a new puppy – Pablo, a cockapoo – four years ago: “Taking him out for walks was brilliant, arriving back home less so,” smiles Rebecca. 

“There’d be the rigmarole of bringing him through the house and up the stairs to the bathroom, and then trying to clean his paws. I’d look at the state of the carpets, walls and furniture afterwards and there’d be a trail of destruction! The alternative was to hose him down outside, which was unpleasant for both of us.”

It wasn’t long before Rebecca realised there was a gap in the market for something that ended this bathtime pain which Fabricon could, well, plug: “I found myself wondering why nobody had made a dog shower that you can just slot into your utility room or kitchen – it would save so much hassle. So, I approached my Managing Director and suggested we design one.

“My vision was for something that could be installed by anyone – in the same way that you don’t need a plumber to fit a washing machine – and seamlessly integrated into homes alongside other appliances and sinks. Fortunately, Managing Director Mark Bushdyhan saw the potential in the benefits of a dog shower. Mark has previous experience in design and patenting bathroom adaptation equipment, which we manufacture today.”

Fast forward four years of development, a timeline hampered by Covid as well as plenty of technical challenges, and the Incredible Dog Shower launched in January this year. 

“There wouldn’t have been a project without all the support we received. I’m really humbled by the amount of help we have had to develop and bring to market something that’s going to improve the quality of life for dogs and their owners. 

“GM Business Growth Hub was the first stepping stone. Through them I was put in touch with Innovate UK EDGE, where we were able to access funding and connect with the National Composite Centre for composite design support, as well as also being recommended for a wonderful mentoring scheme. Finally, once the design and development had finished, the Hub helped us bring the dog shower to market. I can’t thank all the team enough, they are amazing!”

Rebecca Lee, Project/Compliance Manager, Fabricon

From our position at the centre of Greater Manchester’s innovation ecosystem, we’re able provide free specialist support and help businesses to access the expertise, facilities and funding they need to take their project forward. Contact us now to see how your business could benefit.

Innovation funding and product development

  • Rebecca successfully applied for a £15,000 Innovate UK EDGE grant available for new products. She says, “I've been to several roundtables where funding was discussed, where people have said that the application procedure is lengthy and complicated, but Innovate UK and the Business Growth Hub are there to help, and I found it pretty easy.”
  • The £15k helped fund a project with the specialists at the National Composite Centre to create a mould so that the Incredible Dog Shower could be produced using the method of RIFT manufacture, which gives a smoother finish on the dog shower’s contours.

Development of the value proposition and marketing strategy

  • The Hub’s Innovation team helped Rebecca to build an evidence-based value proposition, assisting with the creation of customer personas, determining how they could see the product benefitting them and the price they would be willing to pay. The results confirmed a demand for the product and provided the platform for building the proposition.
  • Market research was carried out, initially focused on B2C markets, then kitchen manufacturers, retailers, and holiday homes. Rebecca was coached to carry out research with these customer groups, as well as supported in organising home testing of the shower units by dog owners.
  • “I had carried out my own market research at the beginning of the project, with limited knowledge of how to go about it,” says Rebecca. “ I was able to properly reassess the research and go back out to the market to understand the demand. I was really surprised to discover how anxious the grooming parlour can make some dogs. This really helped confirm that there was a definite need for the dog shower.”
  • These activities provided Fabricon’s Managing Director with the confidence to invest in the dog shower development. Mark Bushdyhan says, “It has been great to have access to funding and skills to support our design and development of the Incredible Dog Shower.”
  • The Hub also supported Rebecca to develop effective marketing tools, including a rewritten website that has seen a resulting 200% increase in unique visitors, and provided guidance on the development of a brand pyramid. 


  • Rebecca was introduced by their Hub Innovation Specialist to a mentoring scheme with Amazon, where she spent time with Johan Hanekom, Principal for Sustainability and Innovation at Amazon Web Services, and a globally recognised expert on strategy, innovation and growth.
  • “Johan has shared his lived experiences in business and innovation,” she says. “His advice is inspirational, motivating and empowering. During development of the dog shower, there have been many setbacks, but Johan helped me see that seeking out solutions and working around these challenges is how I can turn the obstacles upside down – to make the situation work in my favour, which could eventually lead to a better option.
  • The scheme included a visit to the Amazon Robotics Centre in Bolton, where SMEs learnt about Amazon’s culture of continuous improvement, sustainability journey, 16 principles of leadership and approach to innovation.

“As a UK-based, northern business we are looking forward to revolutionising the dog washing experience!” says Rebecca.

For more information on the dog shower, which is manufactured in the UK to the highest quality standards, visit

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