Just seven-years after launching their North Lincolnshire-based greeting card and gift company Hannah and Jack Dale are “over the moon” after receiving news of a top award.
The couple, who are the brains behind the phenomenally successful Wrendale Designs – which started life as a table top enterprise and now has a fantastic worldwide following – are celebrating their business winning The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Excellence in International Trade.
Hannah said: “We are so thrilled to receive the Queen’s Award. Launching our brand and seeing it so well received around the world has been incredibly exciting for us, but we’d like to say an enormous thank you to all our loyal customers in the UK, who have supported since we launched Wrendale. Without their belief in our brand this would never have been possible.”
Jack and Hannah, who have three children and who employ 25 people at their Brigg-based business – are bursting with pride but having to pinch themselves at the same time at their success!
There’s little wonder. The highly-coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise is one of the UK’s most-respected business awards.
Judged solely on merit, it recognises and celebrates business excellence across the UK. First instigated by Royal Warrant in 1965, the esteemed Award for Enterprise has a long history of recognising exceptional UK businesses.
Hannah’s fabulous greeting card and giftware designs first appeared on cards and pictures created for friends. Today they can be spotted on everything from cards to textiles and pottery.
Winning a Queen’s Award can only make Wrendale products even more collectable in the future.
“We feel very fortunate to have a style that people seem to identify with all over the world and this has made it a real pleasure to launch the brand overseas. We have worked with a number of distributors from the early days of our business and they have supported us as Wrendale has evolved from a greeting card company into a lifestyle brand,” said Hannah.
“In the last few years we’ve also started to supply a number of countries direct, building up our own salesforce and exhibiting at trade shows. It’s a lot more investment and a lot of hard work but this has proved to be a really good way of spreading the word about Wrendale..”
Jack said: “We have seen our export sales grow by more than 400 per cent over the last three years, following successful launches in the America, Europe and Japan. At the same time, we have been building our relationships with distributors across the world.
“Although we are announcing the Award today, there’s lots more excitement to come for us. We are really looking forward to attending a reception at Buckingham Palace in June, which will be hosted by Her Majesty The Queen.
“After that, a Palace representative will be visiting us at our premises in Brigg in North Lincolnshire to present the actual Award. We will be able to display it for five years and we can’t wait for our hard-working team to see it,” added Jack.
In the early days of the business, it was Wrendale’s award-winning greeting card collection The Country Set that got Hannah’s designs noticed. It wasn’t long before the popularity of her artwork led the business’ product range being expanded to include a wide range of gift and homewares, from tin ware to stationery, textiles and more.
Hannah went on to win five prestigious Henries awards for her designs as well as “Gift of the Year” for her stationery and she was of three finalists in the NatWest Everywoman Brand of the Future Award. However, the Queen’s Award really crowns everything else!
Forging a really successful collaboration with Portmeirion, which has seen Hannah’s artwork appear on many ceramic and kitchen items, has helped to supercharge the business. Today avid Wrendale collectors can even buy a dinner service carrying Hannah’s artwork.
Hannah and Jack’s products are available at numerous prestigious locations worldwide. People can find them in John Lewis shops, at the Sandringham Estate and Burghley House, and they also sold by The National Trust and RHS.
On the International front, they are stocked by top flight department stores overseas, include KaDeWe in Germany; Dillards in the US; Globus in Switzerland and Shinjuku Isetan in Tokyo.
The fact that the Wrendale brand has a huge, and growing, number of international collectors has played a pivotal role in Hannah and Jack’s business in being named a Queen’s Award winner.
Wrendale Designs is an amazing story. After all, Hannah studied art at school in Caistor, went on to read Zoology at Cambridge and then spent five years working as a stockbroker, along the way! Wrendale fans are delighted that she left the world of stocks and shares behind and picked-up her paintbrushes again!