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The Insider - Notes from the Founders

Updated: May 11, 2023

Hey, Natalie here, co-founder of Colleague Box. Welcome to the first edition (and potentially last depending on the analytics!) of The Insider, notes from the founders, April edition.

In this blog, I'll be doing a monthly round-up of what's been happening at The Smile Factory as well as at home as you get to know a bit more about the people behind the brand.

I hope you enjoy it.


April is flying by isn't it? Blinked and missed it - yeah same here to be honest! Here's some of the highlights of the last few weeks.

Easter hols

Easter feels like a lifetime ago now but we had a lovely family break to Tossa De Mar in Spanish Costa Brava. I booked it last year and been paying it off monthly so it was great to finally get on that plane.

However we ended up having a 3 hour flight delay which meant our transfer on the other side was cancelled. Queue being stranded at Barcelona airport at 2am with 5 year old and teenager. It was Uber to the rescue and an hour and a half later we arrived and I'm pleased to report it was all smooth sailing from there - phew!

Here's our little crew on the walk up Tossa De Mar castle.

A man and two children looking out to the ocean behing some jagged rocks and railings
Tossa De Mar Castle Walk

Kings Coronation

As if May needed any more Bank Holidays, we've got an extra one on 8th May for the King's Coronation. This is a special day for us personally as it's our eldest's 16th birthday so it's great that we all get the day off with her to celebrate.

Did you be celebrate the King's Coronation (or just the extra day off!)

This desk drop King's Brownie gift box went down well - thanks for your orders. I took one for the team here guys and sampled the brownies... several times... just to make sure they are delicious. They were!

Kings brownie box styled with a cup of tea, macbook and desk plant
Kings Brownie Box £4.99

Derbyshire Senior Challenge Cup Final

It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to the Derbyshire Senior Challenge Cup by the Derbyshire FA last week. The hospitality, company and football was all excellent. It was a nail-biting finish to the game which saw Buxton clinch the title in the dying moments of extra time. Congrats Buxton!

Seeing the Colleague Box advertising boards was an exciting moment for us as lifelong Derby County fans - speaking of which, I couldn't resist giving owner David Clowes a Taste of Derbyshire gift box to thank him for saving the club. I hope he's enjoyed it.

Inspiring the Next Generation

I was joined by Cosy Direct, Penguin PR, Gravity Digital, Hardy Signs and other businesses as part of a careers fair at John Flamsteed school in Derbyshire recently.

The conversations were fascinating and thought-provoking by the year nine youngsters. I was so impressed by their curiosity into Colleague Box and how we got started.

There was a few who wanted to become entrepreneurs which I thought was really inspiring. I have high hopes for the next generation and I love having these opportunities to engage with them.

Eight people stood in a row in a school environment with smiling faces.
Penguin PR, Cosy, Gravity, Colleague Box, Hardy Signs, Alderwasley Hall School at John Flamsteed School


I finally gave the newest craze Padel a try this week. Have you heard of it? It's a mix between tennis and squash: you have to play the ball over the net and you are allowed to use the walls that surround the court. It's the fastest growing sport in the world, played by people of all ages and many famous athletes.

I played at the We Are Padel centre in Derby and had a great time learning the rules and giving it a go and honestly can't wait to play again!

Ps this is not a #ad!

A selfie of a smiling woman wearing sports clothes on a blue padel court
My first time trying Padel sport

So that's a little round up of what we've been up to behind the scenes here at Colleague Box this month.

Coming up we have...

🍺 Beers and Business which is exciting

🎂 Our birthday - we are THREE years old! Look out for exciting announcements

🎄 Launch of our advent box - yes we are feeling festive already can you believe it!?

Follow me on Linkedin here and if you ever want to have a chat about all things corporate gifting (or padel!) book in a meeting here.

Speak to you at the end of May for another round up!

Natalie x

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