WHEN Adam and I sent out the very first Colleague Box earlier this year, we had no idea what to expect; we knew the whole concept was a fab idea and everyone around us was so enthusiastic about it.
But we could never, ever have predicted just how successful Colleague Box was to become – and that’s thanks to the love and support we have received from EVERYONE.
Our family and friends – many who have spent hours and hours packing boxes with us – have been wonderful and the Derby business community has been behind us from the start.
From Swap Shop – the business-swapping scheme which has now been rolled out nationally – to the University of Derby, who helped us to recruit staff needed to ship a Halloween order of 22,000 pumpkins, we’ve been so grateful for the support from our home city.
I must mention, though, the fabulous ladies in the networking group Derby’s Finest. I’m delighted to have collaborated with so many of them including Mandy Strong from Mercia Image Print, who printed 20,000 personalised advent calendars for us; it was their biggest-ever order, which is incredible.
Laura Parry from Parry Creative is working with us to create an exciting new look for the new year - watch this space!
We’re also working with Katie Lavis, of gift card experience business Little Starts Gift Cards, to produce baby shower Colleague Boxes in the new year and Kerry Ganly, of Derby-based PR company, Penguin PR.
Kerry has been great in getting exposure for Colleague Box and we actually met via a swap with Derby Swap Shop during lockdown, when our business was starting to take off.
She’s helped us to secure coverage on the TV, in local and national media – we were in the Heat magazine Christmas gift guide – and, over the Christmas period, our story will be in the Daily Mail. How amazing is that?!
We had a photographer visit our house, so that he could take professional pictures for the piece, which we’re looking forward to seeing very soon.
It was a chance, too, to talk about surviving meningitis at the age of 10. I’m so, so lucky that the only side effects I suffer are memory loss; I document everything, especially the girls’ growing up, as I want to be able to look back on their childhood and recall those precious moments.
I am so grateful to the doctors who saved my life and thankful that I’m still here today enjoying this crazy journey we have been on this year.
I know that 2020 has been difficult for many and, for me, it’s had it’s moments. But I cannot wait for a bit of time off with the family over the festive period and I’m looking forward to seeing our little business grow even more I next year - bring on 2021!
So thank you for your support and your custom. We have learnt many lessons these past few months, and want to make our services even better for you next year.
But for now, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Natalie and Adam x