Based in Colwyn Bay, Lima Lima was launched by Carly and James Brands in 2015 and got off to a flying start, producing and selling daring and risqué gifts and cards that quickly gained popularity and began selling the world over.
The impact of Brexit that same year took its toll on the company, notably in Europe, but the couple have diversified and bounced back. They achieved a significant rise in turnover, sell more than 550,000 items annually, and now employ up to 10 full and parttime staff. As they prepare to move to new, larger premises in the seaside town, they have big plans for the future and a fresh selection of product ideas.
Mum-of-three Carly, who has decades of experience in marketing, entertainment, and digital media, said their end-toend approach has worked well since day one, though they are now also collaborating with established partners to scale-up and grow further. "We work with local companies and sell a lot of our items and cards direct, but also via some of the major online platforms like Etsy and Amazon given demand internationally," she said. "When we launched it was a leap of faith as we had never done anything like this before, but because our range was very niche it immediately captured the imagination and things really took off.
"Brexit did have an effect, not only on European sales, but on the price of stock, supplies, and the effect of import taxes, but when Coronavirus took hold in the UK our sales went through the roof. People were in lockdown, and we tailored a lot of merchandise around that, creating light-hearted bespoke cards and gifts – including mugs, pens, and balloons - which brought some light relief at a time when people really needed it. "I even wrote a little lockdown-related ditty for a greeting card, and we ended up selling more than 25,000 of them – the response was phenomenal."
Carly adds: "From there we started to grow and diversify – into content marketing and digital advertising – and we have big plans for when we move into the new building. It's a case of watch this space!"
Novelty candles manufactured and distributed by Lima Lima - named after the firm's LL postcode – are among the items they are looking to introduce in the coming months. "What was a big step for us both, starting our own company after years of paid employment, ended up being the best thing we ever did," said James. "Carly and I have so many ideas and are always thinking big, we are excited to relocate and to see how we can take Lima Lima to even greater heights."
For more information, visit the website www.limalima.co.uk