Latest News | 12 October 2022

Why Colleague Box is the gift that keeps on giving

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In the latest edition of Marketing Derby’s Innovate magazine, we meet Adam and Natalie Bamford, the couple behind the hugely successful gifting business Colleague Box.

Colleague Box was one of more than 7.2 million new businesses created in 2020, when the world was thrown into turmoil after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

It was born from an idea that would allow firms to send gifts to furloughed workers.

Natalie, who is the firm’s chief executive, told Innovate: “The idea of a Colleague Box is really very simple.

“It was created as a way of staying in touch, saying thank you and spreading happiness.

“It was risky setting up a business during a time of such huge uncertainty, but we had so much support for Colleague Box that we just went with it.”

Within five months, Colleague Box had turned over £1.3 million, which included some major orders.

The couple quickly realised they needed more space and just before Christmas 2020, signed a lease on what is now their current base dubbed The Smile Factory, on Northedge Business Park.

Adam recalled: “We needed somewhere modern, clean and big enough to support our growth.

“It had to have enough warehouse space to pick and pack the boxes, as well as a breakout area to host visitors and an office.”

Since then, the business has continued along the path to success, thanks to continued innovation.

For example, the latest venture from the company is ‘Tilly the Trailer’, which allows Colleague Box to bring the gifting experience to the workplace.

The firm’s success has also translated into awards, with Colleague Box recently named Midlands Business to Business Start-Up of the Year.

And the firm has also been putting something back into the community, supporting numerous projects and charities.

The ultimate aim is that one day, Colleague Box will launch a charity arm of the business so it can do more within the community and beyond.

Natalie tells Innovate: “That is the dream. There is a real need for support, and we know that, with the fabulous well-wishers and backing that we have from the people in Derby and Derbyshire, we can achieve our dream one day.”

To read the full feature in the latest Innovate magazine click here.

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