MOTHER-of-two Laura Lambert is expanding the business she runs from her Colne Valley home.
Small & Gifted, which makes and supplies personalised products for children and the home, has been getting bigger during the course of a hectic 2012.
It now employs five people directly as well as four agents selling items at house parties up and down the country.
Laura worked in marketing for drinks brand Bacardi until moving to Huddersfield because of her husband Richard’s job.
She had a spell as a secretary with the NHS before putting her creative talents to use and setting up Small & Gifted in March 2011.
Working from a studio in the family home in Linthwaite, she makes items including door plaques, wall letters, clocks and keepsakes for weddings, christenings and other special occasions, which are mailed out to customers.
She initially made the items for friends and family and followers of her Facebook page – but business has been booming since the launch of an upgraded website which provided increased capacity for handling orders, including international sales.
Laura said: “It got to the point where I could not keep up on my own. The business was featured in a magazine which really raised awareness to the extent that we now have 4,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook.”
The biggest surprise has been how Small & Gifted has taken off with party planners.
“In October we took someone on in Manchester to trial the house parties before Christmas,” said Laura.
“Now we have four agents covering Huddersfield, Manchester, Leicester and Essex and interest from another potential agent in Scotland.
“At Christmas we trebled what we did the year before – when we had 1,500 orders – and we had to shut the order book at the start of November so we could cope with getting the orders out.”
Laura said demand for specific items could fluctuate – but the business was looking forward to an exciting 2013 with new and innovative products in the pipeline.
“We were featured in a wedding magazine showing the ‘favours’ we make for bridesmaids and bride’s mothers,” she said.
“We got a massive response to that. Now the brides who ordered favours are coming back to order baby products!”