Norfolk camouflage design business is hoping for more visibility

Dom Hyde's products are by their nature difficult to spot.

But the Norfolk-based camouflage design company founder, who was inspired by an interest in war films and birdwatching, is hoping his firm will gain greater visibility in the market place after winning a grant to help him expand.

Now Mr Hyde, who set up Hyde Definition from his home in Hempnall in 2008, is also hoping his business could take off if he wins a competition to design the US government's new military camouflage pattern worth millions of pounds.

While he is still waiting to see if his pattern has caught the eye of the US government, the �4,295 grant from Knowledge Norfolk, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, will allow the business to slowly grow and produce more fabric and develop more clothing.

The company is still small, with only three staff members including himself, his wife Rachel and former US Army sergeant Lawrence Holsworth. This year's anticipated turnover is �30,000.


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Mr Hyde said his interest in camouflage started in childhood.

'I had the usual interest in war films,' he said. 'I joined a military modelling club and I was also interested in bird watching. It grew from that. I learned how hard it was to spot birds on the ground.'

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He experimented with his designs on his home computer. In 2009 he used his savings for a first print run of the fabric and also developed a garment range.

Mr Hyde said pursuing the venture had been quite a steep learning curve, but he was hopeful it would take off.

'Selling it at trade shows and on the internet showed it was viable,' he added.

'I had a small, but loyal following. Interest ranges from hunting, birdwatching and paintballing not to mention police and military usage.

'We are now quite pleased, we are trading with individuals and we have interest from military and law enforcement agencies.

'We have entered the pattern in a US competition.

'They are looking at changing their pattern at the moment. We are confident we will get to the next stage of that.'

Hyde Definition was chosen from 21 applications by Norfolk Knowledge's Innovation Panel as part of the Vital Rural Area project within the EU's European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Norfolk Knowledge was set up to help small businesses based in Norfolk.

For more information go to www.norfolkknowledge.co.uk/innovation.aspx or call 01603 591816.

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