The start of 2020 might well feel like it was about a decade ago, given everything that’s happened over the past twelve months, but this time last year, we were prepping to launch at Top Drawer. Doesn’t that feel like a different world – the crowds of people, all putting their stalls together; Tora and I wandering around looking at hundreds of different products and then welcoming potential buyers, talking about our brand and the giddy excitement of taking our very first orders. We had an amazing three days, and immediately booked a stand for the Spirit of Summer show that was due to take place at Olympia in July.
Of course, only a few weeks later, everything had changed – literally around the world. It’s been a tough year, in so many ways, so we wanted to celebrate the things that have gone well, and our first year in business.
Receiving the orders from shops and galleries, and sending them out around the UK, was fantastic. One of my highlights of the year was going on holiday to Deal in Kent, in September. (The original plan was to go to the Champagne region in France, but that got knocked on the head when the travel restrictions came in). We stayed in a beautiful house, moments from the seafront, and spent a week eating fantastic seafood, going for walks, and heading off in the car for day trips. One of which was to Broadstairs, where our Mum was brought up. I’d never been, but now really want to go again. It’s got the most beautiful harbour, a fantastic ice-cream parlour, and we popped into an interiors shop, called Arrowsmiths. I rounded one of the displays, and came upon a full range of Collingwood Candles! There they were, in the wild.
I had an excitable chat with the two lovely women who ran the shop (who, it turned out, were also sisters) and they said they thought it was their manager that we met at Top Drawer, who said that our candles would be ‘coming home’ when we told her about our links to Broadstairs.
From summer onwards, we were thrilled to receive a mass of PR coverage, featuring in everything from Hello! magazine and House & Garden to the Christmas gift guides in our local Bath Life and Somerset Life magazines.
We knew that our Christmas Orange, Cinnamon and Clove candle would be a big seller, when it was a hit at Top Drawer (we had a sample, but hadn’t yet finalised the label design – our gorgeous snow goose). But we had no idea quite how many of them we’d end up sending out by the end of 2020! So, if you’re thinking of corporate gifts this year, bear us in mind! There’s more info here.
Our other runaway success was the launch of our match bottles - if you haven’t already checked them out then they make a lovely present – or add a bit more glitter to your shelf or mantelpiece!
Growing our VIP newsletter list has been really satisfying, and is definitely one of the things we’ll be concentrating on this year. We ran a Black Friday discount with an additional discount just for members, as well as offers such as a free Watermint candle or Ladybird match bottle with any order to our subscribers. As another lockdown, and this time in winter, means having to be indoors, we’re all about trying to make your surroundings feel luxurious with beautiful homewares.
And can changing the smell of the room you’re in boost your wellbeing and mood? Yes. Get a buzz by burning our bestselling bumblebee candle if you’re flagging while working from home – smelling rosemary helps to perk up your productivity. Or remind yourself of happy times, such as a seaside holiday by lighting up a Coastal Lime - smelling something can be all you need to bring good feelings flooding back.
So, sign up at the bottom of the home page for VIP access to special offers and info about our new launches!
We’d like to thank all our retailers, friends and customers who have supported us in our first year. It’s meant a huge amount that you’ve all chosen to shop from an independent brand and spread the word. We hope you’re enjoying Collingwood Candles as much as we’re enjoying bringing them to you, and wish you all love and luck for 2021.