Support new and independent businesses. Our size is really our strength. At gift’d, you’re not just a number to us – you’re a supporter, a friend and a valued customer. Read on to find out more about us, what sets us apart from the competition and why you should buy from us.
Founder & Owner
I've been a retail buyer for the last 15 years so I know all about products. I know where the best ones come from and what they should cost. I even know what you need to know about them in order to make a decision on whether or not to buy.
gift’d was started after many years of working for other retailers and many dreams of starting my own business. Gifts are my passion and I hope that comes through on my site. People buy from people, and that’s exactly what I am. I’ll tell you why I selected each item for you and I won’t bombard you with so much choice it’s hard to make a decision.
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Starting from the bottom
Having completed a business degree at the University of Central Lancashire, I knew I wanted to be a Buyer. I applied for what felt like hundreds of graduate training schemes, and although I got through the initial stages for a few, I failed to secure a role.
Buying appealed to me because I felt I had the personality traits required to be successful. Strong with numbers. A keen eye for product (I already loved shopping!). My own techniques for getting my own way (also known as negotiating!). It was tough not being able to follow the path I expected. I actually ended up living at back home for a while and working in a shop while I was turned down for various graduate schemes.
Beginning to work – gaining experience
My first job came completely by accident when a small business took a chance on a young graduate and hired me as a negotiator. I worked specifically on freight, pouring over customers current invoices and negotiating with a network of shippers, freight companies and couriers to improve that customers spend. Learning to network, negotiate and that attention to detail was key. I loved it!
Getting the Retail Bug
This experience as a negotiator got me a job as an Assistant Buyer for a fast growing mail order business. I was responsible for gifts for men which included everything from unique items to big, big brands. I would do everything from planning the pages to approaching the brands and ultimately including the products in our catalogues.
From here, I moved onto an upmarket furniture company whereby I quickly started to travel the world sourcing furniture and rugs. I also designed many items directly with the factories and launched some top sellers for the brand. I worked to maintain the companies upmarket reputation steering photoshoots and copywriting.
Scaling up to an almost Billion turnover business
Then life really got hectic. I joined a massive out of town retailer buying housewares and found myself out of the country at least once a month. Between buying trips to the Far East, I launched new ranges for this retailer which are still in store today. Although I loved the freedom to buy products as I saw fit, I struggled in this highly competitive head office. I made the difficult decision to scale back down to a much smaller business.
Back to Gifts
I returned back to mail order and back to gifts for men and women. I thrived being at home more and sourcing from the UK, and helped this business improve their sales, increase their margins and launch new products that revolutionised the brands.
As part of the senior management team here I was involved and instrumental in big strategic decisions, and a key player in taking the business from a turnaround plan to a growth plan. I achieved a lot, but once the business had turned around, I started to feel that I needed a bigger challenge again.