Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - January/February 2023

58 When did you start up and why? The business was established by Rosanne Kenealy in 1995 as the European distribution arm of a USbased educational company, Dowling Magnets. It was acquired by the families of the current directors in 2003 when the company name was changed to Brainstorm Ltd. What prompted you to launch the business? Rosanne already had a relationship with the US parent Dowling Magnets and together they came up with a plan to form a UK-based sales, marketing and distribution hub for its educational products. Rosanne’s sister, Julie Greenwood, has worked for the business in various capacities since the early days and now fulfils the role of Commercial and Logistics Director. In 2003 Nick Saunders joined the business as Sales and Marketing Director. In fact, Nick grew up with Julie and Rosanne as neighbours in the Northeast Lancashire village of Higham attending the same schools and six form college. What challenges have you overcome since the company’s launch? Initially the main problem was financing the growth we anticipated but with the constant support of our bank we have created a very healthy business. We are lucky to have a great team of colleagues many of whom have been with us for more than 15 years. There is no doubt that our excellent team of sales agents has also helped us to develop a long list of independent retail customers. Keeping a good blend of ever-green products and introducing newness is a constant challenge and as a result the product and compliance team has grown with the business. Marketing has also been a key to unlocking our growth and the company continues to invest heavily in coordinated consumer marketing initiatives.