A newly launched gift business is hoping to tackle one of the biggest burdens of parental life….The Birthday Party. Two friends have hit on the idea of a packaged solution which allows people to opt for beautifully presented ‘pre selected’ items.
Eloquently Her discovers more.
If you’ve never uttered the phrase ‘…Not Another Birthday’ in utter despair, then perhaps you’ve not stepped far enough into parenthood, parties, and the world of buying gifts for your child or their classmate.
It was this scenario which gave way to friends Lucy Sheehan and Kate Long deciding to establish one of those ‘fix it’ style ‘first world problem’ businesses, which helps families and friends take the hassle and hardship out of gifting.
The pair are both mothers to two children, and proclaim themselves relatively recent ‘best friends’.
While they didn’t grow up together or room-share in college or bump into each other in the early days of their professional pursuits, they found themselves meeting in the girls’ toilets at Lucy’s wedding, of all places.
“To say we’re now pretty inseparable in life and work, we’ve only really known each other in the last decade of our lives,” says Lucy.
“We introduced ourselves on a loo-break at my wedding, when Kate was there as a guest – and we’ve been chatting about projects, business ideas, families, children, relationships, and the ups and downs of life ever since.”
Their business plan finally came to fruition early this year, and is something which Lucy very much considers to have been ‘an itch needing a scratch’.
She says they’d spent so long talking about working together, and about developing a new business which they could collaborate on, but after many cups of tea and bottles of wine shared, the idea had alluded them…until now.
“We knew we wanted to create a business which would solve a problem for women like us,” says Lucy.
“Time and again, we kept coming back to the frequent annoyances associated with parental life when you have two school-aged children.
“Both of us were spending pretty much every weekend traipsing off to some birthday party or other for our little ones, and always trying to be creative about the type of gift we bought.
“What it led us to, was the idea that we needed to simplify matters. We realised that most people are time-poor, but still want a solution which is thoughtful and beautiful.
“Gift boxes seemed the ideal way forward, so we took the suggestion to mums in our network, and immediately they loved what we were proposing.”
Lucy and Kate decided that their ‘answer’ to a perennial parent problem, would be to develop six types of pre-selected gift boxes, which parents or friends could choose online.
The boxes are then made up by the founding pair, and despatched to the recipient or gift-giver.
“From the Spring of 2018, we were immersed in learning about the world of wholesale and discovering how we could access beautiful items via wonderful suppliers throughout the UK,” Lucy continues.
“It took a great deal of patience and persistence, which, when you’re juggling your own jobs – I’m in PR and Kate is a civil servant – as well as family and all the other demands of everyday life, can be really tough.
“But we knew we had a great concept and wanted to throw our weight into it.
“We’d dreamed for long enough about eventually creating a business together, so this was our opportunity and would need us to be fully committed from the outset.”
The boxes feature all kinds of carefully selected treats and toys.
They carry quirky theme names, including the Unicorn Box, Fairy Princess Box and Superhero Box.
You’ll find everything from puppets to wands, to masks to fairy wings and colouring pencils.
The founding partners clearly feel this is the type of gifting approach which today’s hassled parent is crying out for.
“Our solution hasn’t come about because there’s a lack of ideas of products to buy, but more because parents want to be able to select something thoughtful – without the torture of having to wade through the same shop as everyone else, or think what hasn’t been sent by another friend or family member,” explains Lucy.
“I’m personally really pleased with the package options we’ve come up with, and I’m clear that we’ve gone live with the business in a way that allows us the organic opportunity to keep growing and developing the boxes and our services frequently.”
She continues: “We’re particularly proud of the special touches which come with the Not Another Birthday approach, like the fact that children can fill in the box with their own message, and that the boxes themselves are real keepsakes.”
Not Another Birthday may be in its infancy, having only launched its website this summer, but the ‘best friends’ behind this new enterprise could not be more excited to watch the story evolve.
“It’s absolutely bringing me to life – and Kate too,” comments Lucy.
“I’ve run my own business for some time now, and I know what value that brings in terms of quality of life and the chance to make something your own, but there’s something even more special about doing a ‘from scratch’ idea which has never existed before, and which you know is solving an ongoing issue for families like your own.”
So if summer party invitations are already mounting on your kitchen noticeboard, perhaps it’s time to take a visit to this new online enterprise. Could this be the last year you’ll be heard opening that school bag and saying in exasperation to yourself ‘Oh no…not another birthday’?
For more information about Not Another Birthday take a look at the website on www.notanotherbirthday.com