A toast in the mail for a good start
A toast in the mail
A couple of Blackpool entrepreneurs are celebrating their online drink gift business A Toast in the Post, having sold more than 3,500 drinks and winning two national awards in six months.
David and Jane Charnley have worked in the event industry for over 20 years and founded the online giveaways company last year, when they realized the extended long-term impact COVID-19 would have. on their exhibits and wedding businesses – creating a lifeline and focus for them through tough times.
A toast in the mail allows people to celebrate special times in life when they can’t be together by sending a drink of your choice in the mail with a personalized photo message card.
The couple just sent their 5,200th drink and won the National Small Business Sunday (SBS) award from Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis. “ A Toast in the Post ” also received other celebrity backing, with Britain’s Got Talent star Amanda Holden praising their company when she received a toast on her 50th birthday, as well as the National Women of Wednesday (WOW) Award by Ann Summers’ Jaqueline Gold.
David said: “It’s been a six-month whirlwind, seeing daily orders triple from our initial expectations and trying to meet the demand from people to let their loved ones know they are thinking of them in these difficult times. .
“It hasn’t been easy – we went from running an exhibition and wedding business for over two decades to setting up an e-commerce website in a matter of months, with all hands on deck sourcing 100% recyclable packaging, fine miniature liquor and display from our storage cabinet in our Blackpool warehouse. But seeing sales increase and winning a national award from a renowned Dragon’s Den entrepreneur is certainly worth all the long nights of packing.
Jane thought of ‘A toast in the mail’ on a road trip two years ago when she couldn’t attend a loved one’s funeral and thought it would be nice to send to the family her favorite drink with a message and a treasured photo of him, to celebrate her life when she couldn’t be there in person.
“The idea has been with us ever since,” adds Jane. “But with the success of our exhibition stand business and my wedding seating plan business, the time was never right. None of our industries are back on their feet yet, so we’re delighted to have taken the plunge and turned the pandemic into something more positive. Both for us as business owners, but also to help the nation stay connected by sending personal feelings when people can’t be together.
“Coming out of the lockout, online sales are really here to stay and it’s nice to see an increase in engagement and wedding vows coming back. More and more companies are asking for corporate gifts and toast hundreds of colleagues in the mail to celebrate their employees’ successes. “
The couple met at university and went straight into their exhibitions business, LoveExpo, in 1997, building bespoke stands for national and international clients at major trade shows. They invested and moved into new purpose-built premises in Blackpool in March 2020, just as the pandemic struck.
A Toast in the Post went live in November 2020. Each order has the option to add bespoke photos, as well as personalized greetings and David and Jane are constantly building the selection of drinks available, including those from artisan producers. internationally renowned locals such as Lytham Gin and Black Powder Gin.
To learn more, visit: https://www.atoastinthepost.co.uk/