17-20 July 2022
Home & Gift
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Recent News

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/ 23 Jun, 2021
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Behind the Brand: By Molly & Izzie

Can you give an introduction to who you are and who/what your brand is and how long your brand has been around for? Is this your first Home & Gift?

By Molly & Izzie is all about modern styling and quirky sentimental messages.  Token gifts, keepsake jewellery, and cards with a little something special is what we specialize in.  Easy to display and eye-catching products designed with the retailer's needs in mind.
The business began back in 2016 just before the birth of my son, like a lot of female business owners I was inspired to start the business so that I could stay at home with my children, never in my wildest dreams did I think it would become what it is today!  In the space of 18 months I'd hired my first team member, in 2018 we became a limited company and we attended our first trade show, Harrogate Home & Gift. 
I love that Harrogate was our first trade show, It has a special place in my heart because of that.  However, it was a bit of a baptism of fire, I had a small 2x1 stand but we somehow forgot to pack half of the display.  I spent a very stressful hour in B&Q trying to purchase what we'd forgotten and we were still setting up the stand around the carpet layers at 9 pm!  Despite that, we had an amazing first show, we met some amazing businesses and made a whole new trade show 'family'.  The atmosphere is amazing, warm, welcoming, and incredibly supportive.  I cannot wait to be back this year; we've slightly outgrown the 2sqm stand in favour of a slightly bigger 30sqm!

How did you start your brand? (Include where the idea comes from and who/what was your inspiration, who helped you along the way etc.)

When Molly & Izzie began I was making stationery for other small businesses, business cards, logo design, and the like from our very tiny home office.  Several businesses had approached me asking for variations on business cards that had a 'little something extra' and with that, I made our first wish bracelets.  From the start, the focus was always clean, simple designs with quirky and sentimental messages.  From wish bracelets we expanded the range to jewellery, still sticking with the cohesion of clean designs and sentimental messages. 

In 2016 our house flooded, we moved in with my parents, our two tiny children, and our dog. By then the business had taken off and I spent 6 months working at my parent's kitchen table from 6 pm – 12 am (the only time my 5-month old would have a consistently long sleep).  My family was, and still are, my biggest supporters and I wouldn't be where I am today without them.  During the early days when I had no staff and way too much work friends pitched in to help, or in some cases just sat and drank wine cheering me on!

What's been your biggest highlight whilst creating your brand? Why is it you love what you do?

Each time I sit down to create new products I have to pinch myself.  I love what I do.  All of it, even the most boring bits including accounts and payroll.  I am so proud of myself for building a brand from nothing, creating a team of staff who feel more like friends and family, producing products that retailers must love (they keep coming back!), and for never giving up.  I am a huge cheerleader of women in business and love how supportive the female business world is.

I'd say that the most rewarding part of my working life at the moment is when I get to create bespoke products for retailers.  From initially talking over ideas, to designing and producing the finished products, it's great to work with other businesses to create something unique just for them.

Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give to yourself when you were first starting out? (e.g. any struggles and how you overcame them)

Just do you.  Looking back there have been so many times I've looked at other businesses, worried that I've been doing it all wrong because they seem busier than me, they have more new products, they seem more on-trend.  If I could go back and speak to me of 5 years ago I'd tell myself to take a deep breath and to just have confidence in what I'm doing, because what I was doing and still am doing has worked so far.

Can you tell us about your new collections/ranges that you'll be launching at Home & Gift? (include any events you'll arrange onsite if applicable)

We've used the last 15 months to really grow as a brand.  We've invested in new technology and equipment, created brand new amazing packaging, developed 4 amazing new product ranges, and most exciting of all, every product is now supplied with its own unique EAN code.  We've also had a huge injection of Colour and vibrancy to the brand and we can't wait to bring our Little Hugs, Little Seeds, and all-new Mini Wishes to their first trade show.

We'll be running various promotions throughout the course of the show and as always will have our free taster packs of products available for everyone!  We've worked hard to develop new display stands that are very multifunctional and will be offering these free with all qualifying orders too.
This year our stand is bigger and better than ever, we'll have an actual table that we can sit at and have a proper chat and maybe even coffee!

Any personal favourites from your new collection?

I find it really hard to choose favourites, I design all of the new collections so naturally I quite like them all.  If I had to choose though, I'd have to say the Little Higgs has a special place in my heart.  The Colour, vibrancy, and the sentiment behind them really strike a chord with me and the fact that they are now our bestselling wholesale product helps too!

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