A businesswoman who set up a gift company from her kitchen table just eight years ago has delivered almost a million gifts in the last 12 months.
Jane Gokgoz founded Personalised Gifts Shop from her kitchen table with just £5.50 in 2011, today the company is set to hit £7m turnover at the end of the financial year.
Describing the rise of the online gift retailer, Jane Gokgoz said: “The original investment in the company was kept low, but I soon realised the personalised gifts market was going to be big and that if I invested in the right areas, I could create a very successful business.
“Cutting out the middle man was the best thing for us. It meant I had complete control when it came to dealing with suppliers and sourcing gifts. Having my own team of designers too has meant we can be quick to market with any new and emerging trends.”
Today the site expects to deliver at least 15,000 gifts per week and forecasts total sales for 1019 will reach just under one million.
Jane started the site after struggling to find personalised presents for her two children who both have unusual names.
Jane concedes that starting the business and growing it into the tremendous success story was “Financially difficult” adding: “I had to re-mortgage and borrow as much as I could, while at the same time developing a whole new product range.”
Despite the financial struggle, Jane’s investment paid off and still retains 100% control of the business as it grew from a team of two to employing more than 40 people from her warehouse in Wellingborough.
Personalised Gifts Shop has already employed ten new staff this year, and are planning to hire more in the coming months, along with continuing to invest significantly in specialised machinery.
The retailer expects to deliver around 30,000 for Valentine’s Day and over 120,000 Christmas presents; however, Jane has noticed a shift in buying trends over the last eight years.
Jane added: “Personalised gifts buying has become less seasonal and more of a regular occurrence. Customers buy to mark the arrival of a new baby, a christening, engagement and wedding. They shop for graduations, children starting school and teacher gifts.
“They’re also more discerning. The rise of social media has played a big role in this. First-time shoppers will read reviews and will want to know how good a company we are.
“They also expect complete transparency on everything including dispatch time and delivery costs. We’ve always been very upfront with information like that and our customers reward our honesty and integrity with their repeat business.”