I've been in contact with the team in charge of Mr Kipling's marketing since the end of November 2013 when, by happy chance, a friend on Twitter mentioned that my bags reminded her of Mr Kipling cakes. The Mr Kipling team (who presumably look out for mentions of their own name on social media) chimed in with our conversation and totally surprised me with their loveliness.
After first saying hello they then asked me if they could repost a picture of my battenberg handbag to their fans on Facebook and Twitter at some point in the new year, and of course I said yes.This was the result in January 2014.
The post gained me a few sales and a few new followers, nothing earth-shattering, but I was happy to be able to say that Mr Kipling had called me 'exceedingly talented'! I didn't expect much more, so I was surprised when in July one of their marketing staff called me to ask if they could order a couple of my purses. Of course I was very happy to oblige. I later learnt that they were to take along to a marketing meeting at Saatchi & Saatchi in London. It was one of the most exciting parcels I've ever posted! This is the beautiful photo they took and posted on twitter when the purses arrived.
Apparently my purses were a big hit and, although I didn't know it then, plans were afoot to select a few craftspeople with Mr Kipling-themed products for a special online competition. In August I was told that I had been chosen along with soap-maker Bubblicious Soaps to provide delicious cake prizes for Mr Kipling's 'Better with cake' competition online!
Six battenberg purses and six french fancy purses were up for grabs, this is what it looked like when I packed up the delicious-looking parcel!
After the competition had run online I decided to contact my local paper the Bridgnorth Journal to tell them about it. They had recently put out a call for local interest stories and, as I'd been featured by them before, I thought they might be interested. Well it turns out they were more than interested, they booked a photographer to visit me the next day and told me I'd be on the front page of the paper in two days time! This was the front page of the Bridgnorth Journal on September 19th and I was so thrilled with it. The picture is huge and for a few days I was a local celebrity, lots of people stopped to congratulate me in the street!
The same picture also made it to the Shropshire Star the following day, but on page 6 rather than on the cover, and on September 19th I was also featured in the Express and Star, a Wolverhampton based paper that's popular all over the West Midlands.
|Read this article at http://www.expressandstar.com/editors-picks/2014/09/19/bags-of-exceedingly-good-creation/|
Orders started flooding in from the West Midlands, especially for my Battenberg purses, but then a Birmingham-based news agency got in touch with me. They'd seen the story in the Express & Star and wanted to know if I'd be interested in passing the story on to the national papers. I'd never imagined that the national papers would be interested in my little business but of course I had to say yes! They interviewed me again to get more details and then said to keep and eye out over the next week as they couldn't be sure who would pick it up and when. Well it was on Monday September 22nd when my eagle-eyed father in law called me to tell me he'd spotted me in The Times. Here is Page 22, apologies if it's a little grainy.
Since then I've been rushed off my feet with order from all around the country, and I'm told that there might be more coverage in the near future too as a women's magazine is interested in writing an article on how I started my business. It's been wonderful to find out that my bags are more that a novelty, but something of genuine interest to all all sorts of people. It's also taught be the huge power of media, both new and traditional. If you make something that might be of interest to a big brand then do get in touch with them via Twitter or Facebook, they'll probably be thrilled to know about it, and if you're a small business owner in a small community then be sure to keep in touch with your local paper, because they're always on the look out for stories.
Huge thanks to Mr Kipling, Stephie (@GO_Dark_Turtle), the Bridgnorth Journal, Shropshire Star, Express & Star and The Times. With your help I'm really starting to feel like the successful business woman you've described me as.