It was a simple, if thoughtful, Christmas gift that changed Lady Harriet Campbell's life.

At the time the mother of three small children, she was looking for a way to work from home. The kindle cone firelighters, gifted from a friend in America, sparked the idea for Lady Campbell to start her own business.

She began making the firelighters herself, from her kitchen table and now, some 15 years later, is going from strength to strength with her online interiors company, Hunter Gatherer.

"We were in London, then we moved down to Dorset in 2003. We just kept up with the business and it's grown and grown and grown," explains Lady Campbell, who now lives in Blandford with her illustrator husband Lord Lachlan Campbell, who inherited a baronetcy from his great, great, great grandfather after he "saved Gibraltar from the Spanish".

"It will go to the oldest son," says Lady Campbell of the title, shrugging: "I never really use it. I think it's on my cheque book, but when was the last time anyone used one of those?"

Hunter Gatherer is run from the couple's home, with the help of a storage facility in nearby Child Okeford.

The online store features a combination of Lady Campbell's own products – the firelighters and a range of washable, cotton bowl covers called BowlOvers – as well as an array of interiors and gardening gifts and decor ideas from other stockists.

But many of the products are given a unique touch, as she personalises what she can with a laser engraving machine.

"Initially, in London, I was doing it with two friends - we were selling Indian parasols and Moroccan jewellery," says Lady Campbell of the company's inception.

"But I came down here and wanted to do something more country-ish. I bought the other two people out. My first big project was the kindle cone firelighters. For about a year I imported them, but it was ridiculous importing pine cones from America, so I started making them.

"Everybody that saw them just loved them. There's a factory in Wales that I use to make the bulk of them, but otherwise I do make them at home on the kitchen table."

The firelighters were featured in Country Living magazine, and even captured the imagination of the Royal family – Lady Campbell now supplies them to Highgrove, the private gardens of their Royal highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Inspired by their success, Lady Campbell, who previously worked at Sotheby's and for British shirt maker Thomas Pink, is now pursuing the creation of other products and new stockists and is keen to enhance the company's eco credentials, in line with her own interests.

"I've got a thing about plastic and waste," she smiles. "I hated using cling film on leftovers and thought it would be nice to have something that you could wash and use. My Swiss sister-in-law at the time gave me a couple of plastic bowl covers she got in Switzerland.

"I thought it would be so nice if you could just wash them. Then my husband shoved a tea towel over a saucepan and I thought 'you could just make them out of cotton'.

"A friend of mine said 'you've got to do it'. She told me to enter the Country Homes & Interiors Rural Business Awards and they came runner up. I got ten hours of business mentoring, which gave me the courage to go ahead and do them."

Working in conjunction with Salisbury company Eat Sleep Doodle, Lady Campbell has come up with a range of BowlOvers with variations in gingham and even ones which can be written on with the contents and date.

Their success has inspired her to source other eco friendly products for the site.

"I'm going to have a little section that's eco," she says, "bamboo toothbrushes, wooden washing up brushes. I personalise, so they're going to be engraved. I also sell these Veggio food bags for going to the supermarkets. They are bags you can put supermarket fruit in, they're made of recycled plastic, and can go in the washing machine.

"I'm always looking for things. I've just been to a trade show in Paris – I go to the ones in England, but every year I go to one that's not in England, either in Germany or Paris, to try and find things that are a little bit different. It's got to look nice, it's got to be something that people want or think that they want."

Lady Campbell admits she probably should take on more help as the business grows, but resorts instead to the help of her husband and her three grown-up children whenever they return home.

"I still love it," she smiles, "that's the main thing."

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