It’s an exciting time for Cheeky Little Prints because we are celebrating our 10th birthday. I’m really rather proud that my idea of personalising gifts and paw prints has come this come far!
When I set up the company in 2009 it came about because of my love of animals and children. Working as a veterinary nurse was a real privilege and gave me first-hand experience of how much we all love our pets.
That’s why I decided to set up shop on my kitchen table while my children were fast asleep. Back then we lived in Thatcham, West Berkshire where I juggled my business start up with raising my two boys.
Inevitably with any launch there were some hairy moments but as most of my suppliers and customers were parents, they totally understood!
Fast forward ten years and I am now based in Swindon, Wiltshire. I even have my own home office!
So what have I learned along the way? What haven’t I learnt! Building the business slowly from scratch has meant that as I’ve made mistakes I’ve been able to tweak ideas, go back to the drawing board and refocus on what to sell. I’d like to think I’ve now got a firm understanding about who my customers are.
Pet owners find out about Cheeky Little Prints via a Google search, social media, spotting leaflets at their local vets and via recommendations too. A third of my orders are from previous customers. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! It means that they’re happy with their personalised pet gifts and keepsakes.
I know how important our animals are to us. In a fast-paced changing world we really do appreciate those moments of pure love and attention our dogs and cats (and other creatures great and small!) give us. Is it any wonder so many of us want to have a permanent personal reminder of them?
As I’ve built Cheeky Little Prints into a leading personalised pet gift supplier I’ve discovered what works for my customers and what doesn’t. It has meant I’ve discontinued certain items and expanded into other areas. In other words I thrive on customer feedback. I love hearing from satisfied people of all ages.
When I started out I didn’t realise how important it would be to make the family pet a part of someone’s wedding. A personalised paw print on a piece of jewellery can (and has!) done that. Grieving owners tell me of the comfort they get from having a permanent reminder of their rescue dog’s paw print. They might have gone over the rainbow bridge, but they still carry a reminder with them everyday.
Whatever the background to a personalised paw print I love to read about it. There is always a story and I am so touched my clients like to share them with me. It even makes me reassess what I can offer.
It has meant I have improved lots of elements of the business from jewellery packaging, to redesigning the paw print kits to give them the extra special presentation they deserve. I’ve gradually replaced and upgraded my equipment over the years. I genuinely believe I’m now using the best tools and kit to create your personalised gifts and jewellery.
So that I can continue to grow the business I started outsourcing in 2018. I’ve done this very carefully. I’ve been keen to work with and support local companies. Earlier this year I also began an exciting collaboration with Smarter Media for my website build and SEO.
At the start of the year I also decided to invest in myself! My mentor James Phipps has been supporting me in making these big changes. My PR consultant Fiona Scott is helping me boost the Cheeky Little Prints profile too.
The last ten years have been really special and I appreciate how lucky I am in doing a job that is so much more than work! Some of the highlights of the business include:
In 2012 customers asking me to create silver paw print jewellery.
In 2013 Cheeky Little Prints relocated from Thatcham to Swindon where nobody knew the brand. Eek!
In 2014 I achieved a first! I was asked to capture the paw print of a tortoise in silver “Pandora style” charm for his owner. Since then I’ve created other jewellery with paw prints including from a rabbit, guinea pigs and mouse!
In 2015 I started working with Drove Veterinary Hospital and the following year with Eastcott Veterinary Hospital.
What’s really helped building the company is collaborating with local veterinary practices and hospitals. It means pet owners have the opportunity to have a paw print taken. This has been particularly important when saying goodbye to our beloved pets.
I had my first professional website build in 2016 – it was a big step for me!
In 2017 we launched personalised paw print stamps. They’ve proven to be very popular across the UK as well as in Europe and the US. I have even had an order from Thailand!
In 2018 we launched an Etsy store. Cheeky Little Prints even received an order for a paw print stamp from a squirrel (and their owner!) in New York. The rescue squirrel is an Instagram star!
I have been honoured to create such important memories for you, ones that you can keep close to your hearts forever. Every piece of jewellery, each personalised stamp, mug, Christmas decoration and display plaque has it’s own special little story to tell. The same goes for human and animal prints, horseshoes and hooves. All are truly unique and no two are ever the same.
I am planning to take Cheeky Little Prints from strength to strength throughout 2019 and way beyond. So make sure you subscribe to my emails to be the first to know about special offers, new designs and the chance to read about some lovely customer stories.