A Preston company is getting rave reviews from celebrity customers.
Business partners Katie Palmer and Chris Threlfall are tapping into the multi-million pound gift industry with their company, Keep It Unique.
And its personalised items, from kitsch cushions to photo frames, are a hot topic on social media sites by small screen stars of reality show Made In Chelsea.
Binky Felstead and her mum Jane Felstead have shown their appreciation for their personalised gear on social media sites Twitter and Instagram.
Mr Threlfall, 25, a former Baines High School and Sixth Form student, and Miss Palmer, 26, a former King Edward Queen Mary School, came up with the business idea as Katie sought out a ‘unique’ gift for a friend.
He said: “Katie wanted a present for a friend and we had printers at our disposal so started to play around with designs.
“We’ve focussed on five or six key products, and put them out on social to see what demand was like and we got a lot of people interested.”
The pair are running the new business from the same offices as Miss Palmer’s family company, Palmer Publicity Services, in Preston, giving them easy access to printers, meaning the company’s turn-around period for products is just a fraction of that of their competitors. Mr Threlfall added: “We knew our service and quality would be better than competitors because we have the equipment of PPS and our turnaround time for products is one or two days, where others are a few weeks.”
Mr Threlfall, who studied retail management at Leeds Metropolitan University, has also taken his work back to the classroom, giving guest lectures to the degree course’s current cohort of final year students and drawing on their knowledge to drive the business forward.
Students have already produced market research for the company and are now looking to create strategies for the company to use to start selling products directly to businesses.
The pair are now preparing to take their products to wedding and trade fairs.