A Manchester-based business duo are celebrating an exceptional win after being selected by former Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis and his team to attend the biggest retail sellers event of the year, the Autumn Fair 2019.
Erin Rodgers and Fiona Neate, owners of Our Little Globe, a children’s travel-themed activity box company, beat nearly a hundred applicants to be awarded a free stand at the event.
The Autumn Fair sees retail owners and buyers attend the event from all over the world to buy in new and unique products for their shops. Rodgers from Altrincham says, “Fiona and I have been working really hard for the last eighteen months since we opened Our Little Globe. It costs around £10,000 to exhibit at the fair and to be offered a free place based on Theo Paphitis’s belief in our product is overwhelming.”
Neate and Rodgers opened Our Little Globe in December 2017 with the help of a loan from the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. The kits contain fact-filled letters, themed crafts, authentic recipes as well as colouring activities to inspire children to explore and celebrate the unique culture, tastes and traditions found around the world. The business operates as a subscription service by sending out a new country-themed activity boxes each month and the duo also sell some of their ‘country’ boxes as stand-alone product for family-holidaymakers to purchase before they depart.
The Autumn Fair, labelled as the number one Gift and Home show in the UK attracts over 22,000 visitors over four days, with most buyers who attend, placing orders on the day. Neate, from Sale says, “this is a great opportunity to meet with so many different retailers across the UK and Europe. To go from a ‘kitchen-table’ business to exhibiting at the UK’s largest retail show was a big goal, but with Theo’s help we will achieve it. We are incredibly excited and thankful to Theo and his team at the Small Business Sunday initiative as well as the ITE Group who are the main organisers of the Autumn Fair.”