Pom pom makers sew up at trade fair

Pom pom makers sew up at trade fair
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Based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, PomPom Galore Ltd was launched by Marisa Harrison and Kat Bright in 2014. They specialise in decorative pom pom accessories such as garlands, hair accessories, fairy lights and stationery – all traditionally hand crafted using high quality wool yarn…

The challenge

Its pom pom products are stocked in retail outlets across the UK, and Kat and Marisa have also attracted the attention of overseas buyers at UK trade shows. However, they wanted to put in place a more strategic approach to their overseas sales and turned to DIT for help. In particular, the company wanted to exhibit at showUP in Amsterdam – a two-day trade homeware/ gift and interior accessories fair that showcases young design talent alongside established, international brands.

How DIT helped

The international trade adviser (ITA) it was working with suggested ERDF funding and after supporting the application, PomPom Galore received £1118, which paid for half of its costs in attending the exhibition, flights and hotel accommodation.

It also received guidance on exhibiting, which helped Marisa and Kat make the most of their time at the fair and boost their confidence about exploring new markets

The result

At showUP, PomPom Galore introduced itself to a number of important contacts across Europe. Since then, it has achieved additional sales of £5000 from more than six countries, with the largest orders coming from Ireland and France. Its turnover has already increased, which has enabled it to employ an extra member of staff in the operations department, and orders worth tens of thousands of pounds over the next four years are anticipated.

“Securing the ERDF funding enabled us to attend showUP, which was a really important, niche trade show for us, but for which we didn’t have the working capital to justify it,” said Marisa. “Since returning, we have quickly increased our European stockists and customers and we have already seen an increase in turnover as a direct result. We wouldn’t have been able to do this quite as quickly had we not had the funding. We would advise any business to see if they are eligible for an ERDF grant because it could be the catalyst for growth.”

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