One of our lovely stockists, Don't Buy Her Flowers, popped by teapigs HQ last month for tea school (that's the team in the photo above with teapig Hazel on the left!). They offer personalised packages which are perfect for birthdays, 'get well soons', anniversaries... and basically any occasion when someone might need some extra TLC. We've actually teamed up with them to bring you an exclusive care package competition - but more about that later!
Don't Buy Her Flowers have the option to include our tea in their wonderful packages, and we're excited to tell you more about the company in our Q&A with Steph, who started the company back in 2014...
where did the idea for don’t buy her flowers come from?
steph: Setting up a business was never actually something I wanted to do! I worked in Brand and Marketing, managing big campaigns and coordinating teams to get them all working together - PR, ads, digital, etc. I had the initial idea for the business after my son was born in 2010, when I was inundated with flowers. They were all well-meant, but I was overwhelmed and weepy and it struck me as bonkers that the go to gift for new mums was another thing to care for. So the idea for Don't Buy Her Flowers started to form, which initially was gifts for new mums, and I returned to work and then had another baby quite quickly. It was the idea, I couldn't shake, and also looking at my work and commute and wondering how it was going to work with two children in childcare and limited flexibility. Working for myself started to feel like a better option – although I should caveat that, as I had no idea how much work it would take! I've never worked harder, but I don't have to ask for anyone’s permission to go to Sports Day or stay home when children are sick so there are upsides, it’s just not an ‘easy’ option!
tell us a bit about the business…
steph: At the very core of everything we do is thoughtfulness. We started as gifts for new mums but very quickly were asked about birthdays, get well soon gifts and so on. All our packages are about encouraging someone to take a bit of time for themselves. Importantly, that idea of thoughtfulness translates in to everything we do; from our customer service and how we respond to people, to the handwritten tag with the customer's message, to our recyclable packaging, to the suppliers we work with and how the team treat each other.
how would you like to grow the business over the next few years?
steph: Having started the business 5 years ago from my spare room, packing orders on the floor, we now have a team and have just moved to a bigger warehouse, so I feel like we're just hitting our stride. Corporate gifting is a real growth area for us, and as long as we can maintain the same level of service as we get bigger and keep coming up with fresh ideas, I’m excited to see how we grow in the next few years. Mother’s Day is coming up (22nd March!) so we’ve recently launched a Mother’s Day Gift Guide to help people find the perfect gift. We’re very focused on that currently – that’s the big event of the year for us.
what’s a typical day like?
steph: There isn't one! The team speak and communicate multiple times a day as we’re split between two locations, and I might be researching products and then writing interviews, reviewing website copy, speaking with potential collaborations. Last month, we were actually at teapigs tea school (it was brilliant!) and the other day I travelled to Leeds to speak on a panel for a business networking event, and then recorded a podcast. Quite a lot of time is taken with managing the team, and ensuring we're all working together and in the same direction. It's different every day but I love it.
tell us a couple of highlight memories so far…
steph: When we first moved the business out of my house in 2016 and in to a small warehouse space. I don't think I'd ever really imagined where the business would go in the first couple of years – it was all about getting started and trying to get it right and staying on track. Another highlight is when someone asks what I do and I start to tell them about DBHF and they say ‘Oh I’ve used you’ or ‘Someone sent me one of your boxes’ and proceed to tell me how brilliant it was. That will always make me happy.
what is your most popular package at the moment?
steph: We added the Create Your Own Package in November 2018, and that was a gamechanger. We've always had options in our packages so they can be tailored, but the Create a Gift Package has over 100 products – in categories such as snacks and drinks, beauty, entertainment – and the customer puts something completely bespoke together. That accounts for a large proportion of our packages now, and we know that means people are putting together something they know the recipient will really love, which fits entirely with what we do. We’ve just launched The Bestseller Package with the sixteen most popular products for those people that want a bit of guidance and might feel overwhelmed by choice.
why did you choose to stock teapigs?
steph: I knew I wanted tea, because sitting down with a hot cup of tea is one of life's pleasures, but also something that (however ridiculous it may sound) can be hard to find the time to do when you're busy or unwell or feeling overwhelmed. Our packages are sent when someone wants to send TLC so what better than tea, to say 'I'm thinking of you, I hope you can sit down with this'. I looked around for quality tea that would feel like a gift, and the teapigs tea temples add a luxury feel rather than your run-of-the-mill teabag. We've also added a variety of teapigs teas as we've expanded our range – calm when we added our Unwind package (which has Valerian in it and is brilliant) and lemon & ginger was added to the Pregnancy and Stand Up To Cancer Care Packages.
We've teamed up with Don't Buy Her Flowers to bring you an exclusive care package giveaway (pictured above). To be in with the chance of winning, head over to our Instagram page here.