Gift box company eyes further US expansion with £160,000 funding package
Boe House, the owner of Baby Box Shop, has received a £160,000 loan from Rosebud Finance, Lancashire County Council’s investment vehicle delivered by GC Business Finance, to help it create jobs and increase export sales following support from Lancashire’s Access to Finance team.
During 2016, husband and wife, Owen and Kim Burrows, began to design a range of Christmas Eve Boxes. These were pre-filled and ready-made gift boxes to help reduce stress for busy parents. Using the same formula, the pair went on to explore the baby gift arena and created a collection of products for new parents.
The Lancashire based business has enjoyed rapid growth in the last year, with turnover increasing by 300%. It now offers more than 30 different types of gift boxes and hampers, largely sold through Amazon Marketplace, which range in price from £15 to £45.
Having witnessed strong sales in Europe, the company ran a successful market test in the US and it now ships four of its products to the States. The funding from Rosebud will allow Boe House to increase its stock levels in order to fulfil the growing demand from European and US customers.
In addition, the funding has enabled Boe House to increase hours to create three full time positions for existing production staff, as well as generating a further three new jobs. Boe House plans to scale up its production studio space to allow for further increases in headcount and launch its own e-commerce platform to offer customers more ways to buy.
GC Business Finance was appointed to deliver the £11.25m Rosebud fund in July 2019. Since then, it has made more than 16 investments totalling £2m, resulting in the creation of more than 100 jobs. The fund provides loans ranging from £10,000 to £300,000 across 12 local authority administrative areas and aims to create more than 100 jobs in Lancashire per year.
Owen Burrows said: “Having enjoyed a really successful year, the issue we faced when undergoing such rapid expansion was a lack of working capital to facilitate increasing stock levels, and that’s the main reason why we turned to Rosebud.
“We’re now in an excellent position for further expansion, with a group of dedicated full-time staff and an improved workspace, plus the capital required to meet the growing demand for our products. The next step for us is to develop our own e-commerce platform, providing us with more sales channels to complement our existing presence on Amazon.”
Jonathan Nelson, Senior Loans Manager at Rosebud, said: “The growth Boe House has witnessed over the last 12 months is testament to the quality of its products. To have established customers in the US and Europe at such an early stage is impressive, and we were exceptionally keen to support the business with the funding required to grow this customer base further. We’re also proud to have funded the creation of three new jobs and three new full-time employees in Lancashire, especially under the difficult circumstances that businesses and employees across the globe are currently facing.”
County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Environment and Planning, Lancashire County Council, said: “Lancashire has proven time and time again how resilient the region and it’s businesses can be in the face of change. It’s really encouraging to see a Lancashire based business continue to thrive, both nationally and internationally, during what is a trying time world-wide. The purpose of the Rosebud Fund is to support the growth of Lancashire businesses and subsequently the local economy and as such we’re delighted that this funding has enabled Boe House to create three new jobs for the region and secure a further three full-time positions.”