As we start to wind down for Christmas and think about having a break over the festive period (wherever we can get one!), we thought we would look back at our very first year of trading and look back at our journey so far.
We launched the website in October 2016, and I went fully self-employed at the start of November. Within the month that we did both of the above, I moved to Lancaster and I moved into my workshop – needless to say this was one of the busiest months of our lives! Doing all of the above set us up for what was to be a very busy year ahead…
Over Christmas, we attended Christmas Markets, where we received some great feedback about our products and met some amazing people. Not only that, we received our first Brewery order, from none other than Lancaster Brewery.
In January 2017 we exhibited with Arteria in their first exhibition of the year, and our first exhibition ever! ‘BUILD’ ran from January until May and was a great success for us. We love the Arteria ladies, so please do check out their website, shop and gallery if you haven’t before – they are incredibly supportive and sell really beautiful items.
On April 1st, also known as April Fools’ Day, we decided to play a prank on our social media following, with our ‘Luxury French Polished Firewood’; needless to say it went down a treat and fooled a lot of people! Not sure we’ll be able to top that next year…
June saw us gain our first London stockist, The Collaborative Store. We still stock to The Collaborative Store now with a range of our products, including turned bowls and Kitchen Utensils and look forward to continuing to work with them in 2018.
Over the Summer, we exhibited at Leeds Craft Centre as part of their ‘Come Dine With Me’ exhibition and we are now featuring with Museums Sheffield as part of their ‘Handmade for Christmas’ Exhibition, which runs to January. We love being part of exhibitions as it’s a different way to get our work out there, so we look forward to doing more of this work in the future.
As we moved into Autumn, we received a request from none other than Bells of Lazonby to create a number of personalised Breadboards. These would be used as competition prizes for a social media giveaway (launched at the start of National Baking Week) with Booths Supermarket as a partner. We felt very honoured to supply such prestigious businesses, and the feedback from them has been fantastic.
As you may have already seen on the blog, in October we were accepted to attend the highly coveted Trade Show, Top Drawer. Held at Olympia London across three days, it attracts Buyers and Retailers from up and down the country, so we cannot wait to get there and show off our product range! Read more about this in full on our previous blog post, here.
Throughout our first year of trading we have gained a number of stockists, including Barton Grange, The Barn at Scorton, The Westmorland Family and more. We are so excited to see what 2018 brings where we will be expanding our product portfolio and working with more stockists.
Over the year, we have also worked with a huge variety of Breweries creating products including Personalised Beer Caddies, Tap Handles and Beer Tasting Paddles. To build on this success, we are attending the Manchester Beer & Cider Festival Trade Fair in January, so look forward to meeting more Breweries there!
As a final ‘tick in the box’ to end our first year of trading, we found out in November that we have been accepted to the incredible Not on the High Street. A full blog post will come out on January about this, but for now, all we can say is we are launching an exclusive range of personalised products that we can’t wait to share with you!
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank every person that has worked with us in our first year of trading, bought from us, followed us, ‘liked’ us and visited our website. It’s been an incredible year for us and we are so excited for our future; we have so many grand plans and can’t wait to get going… after that break, obviously!
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – see you in 2018!
Will & Jess x