Read our story, how we develop our products and why we do what we do.
About the Handmade Christmas Co.
Founded in 2012, The Handmade Christmas Co. was established to offer a modern alternative to the traditional Christmas stocking. Seven years later, and after reaching more than 500,000 customers around the world, The Handmade Christmas Co. is now the go-to destination for personalised Christmas sacks, stockings, baubles, gift wrap and so much more.
The result of years of development by creative duo Tom Coleman and Louis Porter, The Handmade Christmas Co. produces seasonal goods here in the UK, with all products being hand-finished in a London-based studio.
How it started
The Handmade Christmas Co. was founded in 2012 by creative duo, Tom Coleman & Louis Porter, to create a premium alternative to the traditional Christmas stocking.
Following two years of development, the company publicly launched in 2014 with a single personalised Christmas sack design, and a plan to shake up the industry once and for all.
New website launched!
We worked hard throughout the year, building our core team and working with each of our manufacturers to ensure we had a product of the highest quality – a product we were proud to call our own.
In 2015, a new website and rebranding was introduced to celebrate the launch of the ‘Great British Heritage’ collection – expanding the sack range to include eight additional designs, each named after distinguished Englishmen from the Elizabethan period.
Partnership with John Lewis
2016 saw the launch of the ‘Festively British’ collection, with the introduction of five newsack designs across the personalised and non-personalised collections.
It also marked the start of our high-street expansion, launching partnerships with British retailers, John Lewis and Debenhams. With a selection of our products stocked in every store location as well as online, plus two pop up locations in John Lewis (Oxford Street) and Peter Jones (Sloane Square) offering ‘while you wait’ sack personalisation from September through till December.
47 Pop Up Locations
2017 has been the most ambitious year yet for the brand. Behind the scenes, we were excited to relocate to our new, 3000 square foot premises in South London – larger than our previous studio. We also invested further into our international expansion, opening an office in Orlando, Florida (USA) to better serve our US customers.
To complement our new physical location, we also launched our new website to greatly improve our customer experience, assist in upgrades to our back-end systems, and to cater for the introduction of our new product ranges – personalised baubles and personalised gift wrap.
In the UK we also formed partnerships with additional high street brands including Marks & Spencers, Hamleys, House of Fraser and Fenwicks – running 47 physical pop up locations throughout the country.
2018 saw the launch of our partnership with US retailer, Target – the second largest retailer in the US – powering personalisation pop ups across 78 of their stores throughout the USA. This was both ambitious and exciting, supporting the rapid growth of our products into our 2nd biggest territory.
Back within the UK the focus was on some in-store locations, including a brand partnership seeing our products stocked across all four Selfridges Stores – London, Manchester’s and Birmingham. Online we hit a huge milestone, fulfilling our 400,000th personalised product from our website – a great way to celebrate our 5th birthday.
New Website & 100+ New Products
2019 was an exciting year for the Handmade Christmas Co. To mark our 6th birthday, we focused on taking the brand back to its roots by further developing our online presence.
We invested heavily into our new website, with a facelift to the customer facing site and a full rebuild behind the scenes – a project spread over six months. Not only was this to freshen our image, but more importantly was to overcome some of the growing pains we experienced in recent years. Our new website is our most powerful build yet, keeping our loyal customers at the heart of the entire online journey. This complements the investments made into new hardware at our London production facility, allowing us to expand our catalogue by over 100 new items including personalised Christmas Crackers, laser cut decorations, wooden Christmas Eve boxes to name a few.
The launch of gift Hampers
This was an unusual year for all no thanks to the worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus. The global travel restrictions made visiting factories to help with producing our new product lines difficult. Despite these challenges, we pushed on with our expansion by launching into the gifting sector with our range of premium gift hampers. Available in a variety of options to please all, our treasure troves of treats will surprise and delight your loved ones this Christmas. Each thoughtfully curated with a host of festive delights & lovingly packed in our handmade wicker baskets to complement any festive celebration.
We also invested heavily into upgrading our production and dispatch facilities to ensure our team are safe and secure throughout their day-to-day time at work. With the introduction of automatic thermal cameras to check temperatures upon entry to our buildings, through to safety screens being installed between all work stations. We’ve reduced the number of staff members in the building at any one time by splitting the work force into multiple teams and extending our hours of production. This is complemented by a thorough twice daily cleaning routine to work around the scheduled timetables, protecting our staff and customers alike.
Honing our hampers
Following the extremely successful launch of our initial hamper selection in 2020, we decided to double down on our efforts in 2021. As such we’ve vastly expanded our range, with some new and hugely exciting offerings.
To accommodate our growth, we soon realised that our premises were going to need to expand with us. As such, we acquired a second premises nearby dedicated to manufacturing, storing and dispatching our hampers, freeing up some much-needed space in our HQ which is still home of everything else Christmas; sacks, stockings, baubles, wrapping paper and much more.
Not only have we bolstered our range, we’ve also invested time in learning more about our key artisan suppliers. In doing this we’re in a fantastic position to offer advice and finely tailor our bespoke hampers to ensure our customers receive the perfect products for them and we can impart them with some of our knowledge, making their hamper experience more immersive than ever before.
We already have some very exciting plans lined up for 2022, which we can’t wait to share with you soon!
Would you like to be part of our future adventures? We’re always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our ever-increasing team, brands to grow exciting relationships with, and suppliers to develop new products.
If you’d like to get in touch, we’d love to hear from you now via our contact us page.
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