February into Spring

We jumped straight into February head first by attending a huge networking event on the 3rd which was located at the ICC in Birmingham. We were invited to attend after winning Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday award last Summer via Twitter (see awards tab for more info).  The event was hosted by Rymans Stationary and also Robert Dyas and included many other winners past and present. It was such a fantastic day meeting other businesses and also having the opportunity to listen to Theo Paphitis talk and also participate in a question and answer time panel with Deborah Meaden (Dragons Den) and John Mills (JML). The highlight was however getting to meet Theo and receive our winners certificate which we are extremely proud of. To be recognised through awards such as SBS is a great privilege and we look forward to attending future events in years to come.

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Katy Lowe with Theo Paphitis

 

After the success of our last Blind Date Book Company rep search over on our Instagram account we decided to hold another search looking for individuals to represent us for the months of February and March. Again we had a great response and lots of amazing entries. We managed somehow to whittle it down to our 4 new reps and we are looking forward to seeing their photos and can’t wait to share them with you.

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With February being the month of love we went love heart crazy! Our Valentines Gift box was the ultimate box of book love…but unfortunately didn’t sell too well. Without being too stereotypical….lets just say the boxes we did sell were bought by women for themselves (good work ladies!!).  Sticking with the valentines theme we collaborated with a local secondary school called The Priory just before valentines day to run a Blind Date Book Club workshop with the students in the school library with the help of the librarian. We had a great morning and the students really embraced the concept and the idea, we would love to do more of these in the future.

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One of our biggest goals for 2017 was to get our blind date books into a local gift shop in Shrewsbury Town Centre. We amazingly managed to achieve this in just the first few weeks of the new year and our Blind Date Books are now for sale in the beautiful Wysteria Lane Boutique, its the kind of shop that you enter and would never leave empty handed, its also in our opinion one of the best gift shops in town so we are really pleased. The books are also selling really well in there and being well received by their customers. The best bit is driving past and seeing one in the shop window!!

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Last year we were contacted by Katie Brown who works at Headline Publishers in London. Katie had received a Blind Date Book as a gift from her friend, when she opened it she discovered it was Sarah Winman’s book ‘When God Was a Rabbit’ it just so happened that Sarah is published by Headline. Katie got in touch to ask if we would be interested in Blind Date Book wrapping Sarah’s up and coming new promotional books that would go out to bloggers and journalists. We obviously jumped at the chance and in mid February received a box full of beautiful bright yellow cloth bound books of ‘Tin Man’ (which is released in July 2017). Sarah chose the 4 words and we decided to use yellow ribbon and also add a camomile tea as the hot drink option as its yellow. It was great to see the response from people via Twitter and Instagram who received their copy about how nice the wrapping was. We also received our very own signed copy of ‘Tin Man’ which is proving to be just as good if not better than Sarah’s bestsellers ‘When god was a rabbit’ and ‘A year of marvellous ways’ we think you are all going to love it.

As we spring into March (see what I did there) we have decided that we liked the yellow theme so much that we would use it for the months of March & April for all our books and also our gift boxes! No more red (unless you request it) for a while! We are working on our Mothers Day Gift Boxes which will be listed very soon and will be the ultimate relax and unwind treat in a box (I will trial it myself as I’m in desperate need of them both).

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I cannot wait for some warmer weather and sun shiny skies – I’ve had enough of rain and it being so cold all the time! I am literally filling every room of my house with daffodils from the supermarket just to brighten up my life!

Bye for now and thanks for reading if you got this far……….

Christmas 2016 & January 2017

As this is our first Christmas in business we really had no idea how busy we were going to be. It was really hard to get ready for the unknown. We attended 4 Christmas Fairs so knew we needed lots of books wrapped and ready for these and had a great time meeting people and explaining our concept….but we completely under estimated our Etsy Shop orders.

At one point we even had to close the Etsy shop doors so we could catch up. Over the last 30 days we received over 70 orders which is fantastic and completely unexpected! We have certainly learnt some lessons for next year!

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I’m so excited to hear how all the Christmas orders are received on Christmas day if they are being given as gifts! Please let us know and take photos – we will always share pictures!

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Whilst we were buried under brown paper and double sided sticky tape (alright Blue Peter!) our Instagram followers smashed 2000 and also our Etsy orders went past the 200 mark! AMAZING!! Thankyou everyone!!

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We are reflecting on our first 8 months in business in 2016 and think we have come such a long way – and we wouldn’t have managed it without everyone’s fantastic support and constant appreciation for the concept and what we do. Also a huge thanks to our Instagram  Blind Date Book Company Reps who have posted some great images over the past few weeks. We will be looking for 4 more reps for the months of February & March 2017 so keep your eyes peeled!

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In 2017 we have some exciting things happening – we will share these nearer the time – so watch this space! We will be adding some new items to our shop listings and also offering buyers new ways of buying their Blind Date Books.

Some of you may not be aware that when I write this and talk about ‘we’ and ‘us’ I am just actually ‘I’ and ‘me’. Its just me (Katy) wrapping, sticking, folding and parcelling up your Blind Date Books. I love my little business and I honestly do a little happy dance every time someone orders from me, so thank you!

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One last thing to say and that is MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you all in January 2017!

Katy xxx

 

 

Autumn/Winter 2016

Apologise for not writing an update for a while. We have been super busy and wrapping Blind Date Books like crazy little elves from the North Pole!

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The demand for our Blind Date Books is increasing which is fantastic and we are over the moon! We love that we are still getting 5* feedback and great reviews over on our Etsy Shop – thank you to all our customers- especially those that keep returning time and time again!

In our last post we mentioned that we may be heading into some independent gift shops – well I’m proud to say that we are in 2 gorgeous shops in North Wales.

A State of Distress is a little gift shop in the centre of Ruthin, North Wales. This shop sells beautiful items from lots of small businesses like us, which is fantastic. Bernadette who owns the shop is very welcoming and instantly makes any customer feel at home with her relaxed vibe making you feel free to just browse at your hearts content at the unique items in her shop. I guarantee if you are after a gift you won’t leave empty handed.

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We are also in a lovely shop called Conwy Art & Craft which is in Conwy, North Wales. This little gift shop is near the seafront and has lots of beautiful items adorning its many shelves and surfaces inside. Michelle the owner prides herself on helping out small local businesses by having their items including local art for display in her lovely shop.

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Since our last post we have widened our net quite a bit and now post our Blind Date Books Internationally! Our fist book ordered  from the USA arrived just 2 days ago and it’s recipient loved it.

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Over on our Instagram account we recently held a Rep Search – looking for 4 members of the Bookstagram community to represent our company for the months of November & December. These 4 people will be sent Blind Date Books to feature on their Instagram accounts. It was a tough choice as we had over 200 entrees. We are really looking forward to seeing our reps posts in the near future. (see the Bookstagram/Bloggers tab above)

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Every book that we are wrapping now has a festive theme – we are trying to build up our stock for some of the up and coming Christmas events that we are attending (see the events tab). We are also adding more and more books to our Etsy shop – apologise for being slow recently. We now have for sale our Christmas Blind Date Book Gift Box click this link to take a look – XMASGIFTBOX

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We hope you all enjoy the Autumn coziness and get the chance to put your slippered feet up in front of the fire to read your favourite book and drink your favourite hot drink.

Thanks for reading

TBDBC x

 

Summer 2016

It’s time to hunt out those fluffy socks and put away your flip flops. I have a little secret though…..I LOVE Autumn…the fashion…the nature and the snuggleyness (is that even a word?). 

As a business we have had a great summer. Our summer campaign  20% off code was well received which was great and we sold lots of Blind Date Books and also Gift Boxes via our Etsy Shop.

We are still receiving fantastic 5* feedback and reviews from all our customers and many have returned to buy from us again which we love – so thankyou for taking the time to do this. Lots of our customers post photos of their blind date books via Instagram – here are some examples.

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Over the summer we have attempted to try and improve our product photography for our Etsy shop. After playing around with lighting and also backgrounds we are happy with the end result and think its a marked improvement from the early listings that we posted from when we started in May (on the left below).

In our ‘Mentions’ tab you will find links to some of the great bloggers/vloggers and Instagram accounts that have featured our Blind Date Books which has been brilliant for spreading the Blind Date Book word!

We are looking ahead and making plans for Christmas as we have booked a few different local Shropshire events (details will be listed in the ‘events’ tab asap). We have recently been buying some festive ribbon and decorations for our Blind Date Books wrapping.

We will soon be selling our Blind Date Books on the shelves in 2 shops. Watch this space for more information. This is a big dream for us and we are really excited.

Thanks for reading!

TBDBC x♥

 

4 Months In x

After being in business for just 4 months we thought it would be good to blog about our news and progress once in awhile. 

We have had a busy start to our little business and have attended some great events like The Shrewsbury Food Festival and also some local Handmade & Vintage Fairs. These events have been really positive and it’s so nice to meet people and get their feedback about the concept. We can honestly say that the amount of complimentary people who are so enthusiastic about the idea of a Blind Date Book is fantastic and certainly makes running this business seem worthwhile. We have also meet other stall holders and local businesses at these events and made some great friends and also been lucky enough to collaborate with some of them! We have the creative Evelyn & Elliot helping us with designing some Bookmarks and also the talented Joe from Washed Up Wood who we met at our last Handmade & Vintage fair  – he is now supplying us with these gorgeous teaspoons that he has turned into bookmarks – these will be going into our Gift Boxes. (if you want to buy one on it’s own – head to the Washed Up Wood website)

On Monday the 3rd of July The Blind Date Book Company as usual entered a weekly competition on Twitter run by Dragons Den Lord Theo Paphitis. Thousands of Small Businesses tweet Theo between 5-7 each sunday and he picks just 6 winners to become apart of his Small Business Sunday (SBS) network. GUESS WHAT….WE WON!! Theo picks the 6 winners and announces them at 8pm on the monday night. We had hundreds of people congratulating us and also following our twitter account. It was mind blowing! We are now all set up on the SBS webpage alongside some fantastic businesses.

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As we head towards the end of the school term we are starting our Teacher gift promotions. We will then start our Summer Campaign which we plan to talk about in our next post.

Our biggest goal for the rest of the month is to continue to reach out to people using Social Media. We are hoping to up our product photography game – any tips greatly received!

Thanks for reading! Bye for now!

TBDBC x♥