1. Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
NEST was established in February 2012 in Hathersage, Derbyshire following many years of working as individual design and marketing consultants. A husband and wife team, we also employ a part time mum to help with administration and web development. The kids (aged 8 & 5) lend a hand sometimes too with creative development. Our youngest daughter came up with our brand name at the age of 2!
2. Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
We are a design and marketing consultancy with a background in developing housewares products such as kitchen knives, cutlery and woodware, having worked with all the major department stores and many of their suppliers. We can however design and develop pretty much anything from a blank sheet of paper through to a final product, branded, packaged and ready to launch in-store.
We also have our own range of children’s dining products under the brand TUMTUM, which has been designed to help children to feed themselves independently. TUMTUM came about following the arrival of our own children and a collaboration with John Lewis.
3. How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
We found out about EMITA through UKTI and the Passport to Export scheme. We find the events which EMITA put on invaluable in terms of increasing our knowledge of export markets and also just general issues such as managing agents and distributors. They are great for general networking also and for freeing up headspace to have a good look at our business again from the outside. The food’s always great too!
4. How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
We have always exported from the beginning as we had overseas contacts before we started NEST. We currently trade with Australia, Benelux, Poland, Israel, Ireland, Venezuela, Asia and France.
5. What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
We very much enjoy working with people from different countries and
cultures and there are obvious benefits to be gained through increasing volumes and thus achieving economies of scale.
6. What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
Time – as with everything, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. We struggled with where to start first and there has been an element of dealing with whoever came to us first. We are now trying to be much more strategic and proactive.
7. What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
Slow down! Don’t try to do everything at once. Concentrate on a particular market, research it properly and enter it in a controlled manner before you move onto the next one. I would add to this however... if an opportunity comes your way then go for it, in a strategic manner of course. Venezuela was never on our immediate hit list, but it has been great fun, despite the sudden skype calls at 11pm...
8. What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
We want to focus on the EU primarily. Germany, is our top priority, followed by Italy, Spain and Scandinavia, all of which involve special language packaging and a raft of other elements to consider. Thank goodness for the likes of EMITA!