David Beckham inspires business My 1st Years

They came up with the idea after spotting Beckham wearing football boots inscribed with his children’s names Brooklyn, Cruz and Romeo. A great example that business ideas can come from anywhere - even when watching a football match! 

The duo spotted a gap in the market for personalised baby gifts and within nine months of coming up with the idea, launched their first online business in 2009. 

Soon after launching, they attracted an investor and since then the company has been able to increase it’s offering from shoes and blankets to everything including clothing, gifts, teddy bears, mementos, toys and an organic range.

They now have a concession in top-end department store Selfridges in London and are beginning to take orders from as far afield as America and Australia.

In the last 12 months, the company has seen sales grow by 275% and the retailer is now on course to turnover £3.5 million in 2014, up by 160% on its 2013 figure of £1.35million.

They have invested heavily in the website and products and can now list celebrity fans, including former JLS star Oritse Williams, Mo Farah, Kate Winslet, Peter Andre and Sir Elton John.

Co-founder Daniel Price said: “The personalisation market is becoming increasingly popular. When we first came up with the idea after spotting Beckham’s boots, we had no idea it would turn out to be as big as it is, but it just keeps on growing.

“Getting investment so early on was a massive help and we now have a Chairman who’s worked in retail for decades. His advice is invaluable to us and will help us guide the business to the next level.”

He continued: “The international market will be an important one to us over the coming years. We’re already taking orders from Australia and America and as those orders increase, it makes sense for us to focus on these as our growing markets. 

“The Prince George effect has certainly helped us overseas and in the UK, particularly after he was photographed wearing a jumper emblazoned with his name.

“We’ve also made a lot of changes to the customer offering. The range available has grown with exciting new products being added to the portfolio all the time.

“We’re constantly investing in the website to make sure it performs as well as it can and to ensure the shopping experience is one our customers enjoy.

“If the next five years are anything like the first five of our business then we have an exciting future ahead of us.”

Want to win an award? 

Smarta 100 is the UK’s leading annual awards for small businesses. Every year, thousands of start-ups and growing companies apply for the coveted naming-right of a Smarta 100 Winner, on top of £20,000 of cash prizes.

Smarta 100 alumni hall of fame is decked with innumerable household names such as Zoopla and Graze. For your chance to win £10,000, apply to join the O2 Smarta 100 Awards at smarta.com/smarta100

The deadline is on Friday at 5pm so there's only two more days to get your entry in! 

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