Kevin Spindler, Co-Founder of Signature Gifts, gives us an insight into the personalised giftware brand.
When did Signature Gifts begin and how?
Myself and my business partner, Mike Herbert, founded Signature Gifts in 2003. We were determined to use the growing power of the internet to exploit the personalised gift market. Things went very much according to plan and we quickly made a name for ourselves as a leading gift supplier in the design, manufacture and distribution of innovative personalised presents. This in-house policy continues to ensure our products reach our customers in perfect condition and is undoubtedly key to our success. A merger with Historic Newspapers – an established company in both the UK and USA – has also resulted in continued growth. As such, we now work with all of the main UK newspaper titles, the Washington Post and the LA Times, who license us to reproduce their newspapers. Today, we ship more than 250,000 individual gifts every year, from premises in both the USA and UK. Moreover, our trade gifts sell through a number of leading mail order and online retailers, as well as on our own websites.
Were there any teething problems?
I wouldn't say we experienced anything out of the ordinary when we originally started out, but we were happy that we quickly found a great niche in the market for original newspapers. I think we also tapped into the growing internet market at the right time allowing us to bring this highly personal, commemorative gift to customers.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
We felt that the growing internet trade and faster speed that the internet trade allows would help fuel the growth of Signature Gifts as an original newspaper distributor and a personalised gifts manufacturer.
What ranges do you offer?
Anything personalised really, including alcohol, print, books, calendars, engraved silverware, ceramics and embroidery.
What are you working on at the moment?
We're currently developing more innovative ways of printing on substrates, rather than the usual engraving or transfers. Keeping an eye on what customers want and developing original ways to fit their needs is a big part of how to become (and stay) successful.
What trade shows do you exhibit at and why?
Spring Fair and Autumn Fair are big events marked on our calendar, as both fairs cover the whole of the UK gift market. We also exhibit in America in Atlanta and New York.
How do you see the business developing?
We're definitely forecasting a doubling in our business every three to five years as the personalised gift market continues to grow. We're confident of this due to the growth of internet sales and its speed and ability to feature our wide range of products. The web is an ideal platform to sell original, one-off personalised gifts and we take full advantage of this. Delivery services are also improving with faster and more convenient services at relatively cheaper prices. Finally, there's our investment in state-of-the-art machinery, meaning our service level and lead times will further improve. Next day delivery for quality personalised gifts will increasingly become the norm.
What trends do you predict for 2015?
I see an increasing demand for artisan type products and more design-led gifts. Personalisation will be available for a wider range of gifts and will also include products for the home. I see products where personalisation will not just be part of the gift, but its design will become more important, making personalised gifts even more desirable. For example, it will no longer be good enough for a personalised plate to have a name and message in the middle; customers will look for the personalisation to enhance the design of the plate. We expect to see fewer simple engravings, of say initials, on plain cufflinks as customers will expect more – perhaps monogrammed initials and better looking cufflinks.
Why do you think your customers use you?
Signature has been around for 11 years and throughout that time we've provided consistent, good service. We control all aspects of our products, from design and manufacture to wholesale and retail. This means that we have the perspective to truly understand our customers' needs. We're trusted and have a great reputation that customers can rely on.
What has Signature Gifts got anything in the pipeline?
We're now a leader in producing and selling personalised children's books and we have many exciting story and activity books on the way. Alongside this we're investing heavily in new printers to allow us to launch fresh wood, slate and glass gifts with fresh bespoke pictorial designs. Make sure you watch this space as we only plan on getting bigger and better.
For more information about Signature Gifts, T: +44 (0)844 669 9900 www.signature-gifts.co.uk
Posted: 22 March 2019