HANDMADE CHRISTMAS CO’s big Target deal promises sacks of cash
The Handmade Christmas Co personalised sacks (Image: The Handmade Christmas Co)
Handmade’s crafted products become keepsakes and tap into the highly popular personalised gift trend, a market now worth over £1 billion in the UK. Over 418,000 of Handmade’s items will be stocked in the store chain’s 78 top performing outlets.
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Founders IT expert Louis Porter, 22, and former Foxtons’ employee Tom Coleman, 29, saw turnover top £1 million year last year after setting up the business in 2014 as a sideline to bring them in more cash and fund an auction website they were planning at the time.
“We began with just a second-hand printer and 500 hessian sacks, completely maxing out Tom’s credit card,” recalls Porter.
“That season we ended up selling 42,000 sacks and had to outsource the operation when it became too much for us alone.”
The pair doubled sales in their second year, reinvested profits and began launching seasonal pop-ups in retailers John Lewis, M&S and Hamleys, where it is also this Christmas.
The Handmade Christmas Co jolly baubles (Image: The Handmade Christmas Co,)
Porter is now in Orlando, Florida overseeing Handmade’s US arm while Coleman handles the British end from Beckenham, south east London.
“We were the first to offer personalised gift sacks and we realised early on if we could get both the quality and design right and offer reasonable prices, we would be on to a winner,” he says.
“Cracking America was always a key goal of ours.”