Simon from Wraptious talks to TEN magazine about his exciting business

Wraptious made its first sale on a rain-soaked market stall in Manchester in 2013, but the idea evolved over the previous 12 months. I would often be found doodling in my old office job, and although I can’t claim any masterpieces, friends exclaimed they’d make good gift wrap. Now that sounded like fun!

I quit my career and the more I explored the design industry, the more I realised there were few opportunities for emerging artists to get their work out there. If Wraptious can do even just a little to champion artists, then great! I began collaborating with others, creating beautiful wrap and cards and attending local artisan markets. I attended over 250 markets in two years; hard work but a great foundation on the Wraptious journey.

5 years later, we are blessed to work with over 40 awesomely talented artists, and have supported thousands of others. From young students to retired hobbyists. Greeting cards will always be our first love and still account for 25% of our trade sales, though we also now create coasters, prints, canvases, sublimation mugs and our lush DTG handmade vegan-suede cushions.

What’s really fun (and a little terrifying!), is that it’s our customers – not us – who choose our ranges! Every Spring and Autumn we invite artists to enter five pieces of work which are shared across social media and available to buy print-on-demand on our products too, earning entrants commission! We received nearly 2500 entries in our last competition and their entries were viewed by over half a million people on Facebook, which was just inspirational and a real privilege. Finalists are chosen by points generated from sales and social media likes, with the winners then chosen by our trade customers.

Our competitions are my favourite time of year! Katherine Williams won one of our first competitions while she was still a student in 2015, and her stunning ‘Splatterworks’ range has gone on to win Gift of the Year, and continues to be our best selling range. Another previous winner, Laura Clamp, gained confidence and inspiration working with Wraptious that she has now gone on to launch her own successful greeting card business. We are so proud of her!

Last year, we also launched our bespoke manufacturing service which has been so well received it now already accounts for 30% of our B2B business, despite only being promoted via word of mouth! We can print any design on any of our products and also help with artworking. It’s a really accessible service as we offer no minimum per design either! The wonders of modern printing methods. Artists, Retailers, Events, Charities, even teachers and their pupils are using our bespoke service to offer something special and unique for them and their customers (or school project!).

Fundamentally, Wraptious is about Championing Artists and ‘Going Further’. From a customer perspective, this is about going that extra step, providing the best service we possibly can for our customers. It’s also about supporting our team, going further to make everyone feel valued and challenged. Finally, it’s about our Social Responsibility. We have just Partnered with Trees For The Future for example, pledging to plant 3 trees for every order we receive no matter how large or small. We can always do more, but are excited about what the future holds!