Wedding stationery supplies business The Paperbox is expanding in continental Europe after unprecedented growth in its first year of trading.
The company, based at Century Business Centre in Wath-upon-Dearne, was launched by Ray Calland-Scoble after visiting a large paper supplier in Bradford and being surprised by how many wedding stationery products they made.
Ray, who spent 25 years as a printer, decided it was such a lucrative business that he invested in paper and card cutting, creasing and folding equipment and began selling online to wholesalers, wedding stationers and the public.
His business grew rapidly, with most sales coming from his bespoke website and eBay.
Six months after moving from a double garage to a unit at Century Business Centre, Ray found he had to move again - to the largest unit at the centre.
Then Martyn Benson, business development co-ordinator with Rotherham Investment and Development Office, told him about Rotherham’s European Union funded Soft Landing Zone project, which helps companies from the town to identify new overseas markets.
Martyn researched export markets on Ray’s behalf.
As a result, The Paperbox has broken into the Irish market, with the help of a new website, developed by Manvers-based web designer Prototype Creative, that allows people to buy in Euros.
Further growth means that The Paperbox is now taking on additional office space and is about to target business in more European countries, particularly those like Gibraltar, Malta and Spain, where there is a strong expatriate community.
“The support we have had from RiDO has been invaluable in helping us drive the business forward into new, specifically targeted markets,” said Ray.
“The Irish market has proved very lucrative and thanks to RiDO’s help in securing the EU trademark, we have protected our brand. This means we now see progressive opportunities for expansion and growth in other targeted European countries, much of which is currently untapped.”
Martyn Benson, from RiDO, said: “It is fantastic to work with Ray and so exciting to see new market opportunities opening up across Europe for growing businesses like this.
“At one point we even had to scale back some of our export research and activities as The Paperbox saw unprecedented demand. We look forward to seeing this already very successful business develop and grow even further.”