A former design teacher at Gordonstoun School has launched a new business creating wooden 3D postcards which are now on sale in over 140 outlets across the country.
Andy Cox and his wife Fiona, also a retired teacher, set up award-winning Pop Up Designs in 2015, after Andy began making a small number of products to raise money to support some of the world’s poorest children through Compassion UK.
Now, with support from Business Gateway Moray, Andy and Fiona from Duffus, have invested in four laser cutters which are capable of making 400 postcards a day and are looking to expand into overseas markets.
Although initially a hobby, after taking the advice of Business Gateway Andy and Fiona decided to trademark and patent their products, but still had no intention of giving up teaching.
However, following a £1000 order from Eilean Donan Castle which sold out within three weeks, they realised that that they had to focus on Pop Up Designs full-time in order to achieve its full potential.
Andy said: “I never expected to have a second career at my age let alone run my own business. Everyone at Gordonstoun were fantastic in allowing me to use its laser cutter to initially create the postcards but as demand grew we knew that we had to make a decision. Business Gateway gave us confidence, assuring us we had a marketable product and so we invested a lot of our own money in buying machinery and building a workshop in our garden.
“We can’t believe the rate in which Pop Up Designs is growing. Our postcards are fun, unusual and easy to post as they are flat and pop up to 3D. The main aim is to keep the collection fresh and quirky so I’m always coming up with new ideas and adding more to the range such as Christmas cards and bespoke wedding invitations.”
As well as Eilean Donan Castle, some of Scotland’s most popular attractions stock Pop Up Designs products including The Scottish Parliament, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Camera Obscura, The Falkirk Wheel and the National Wallace Monument.
Visitors to these landmarks particularly love the Scottish heritage range featuring Highland Coo’s, stags, Scottie dogs, Edinburgh Castle and Loch Ness.
Winners of the Best New Gift product at Scotland’s Trade Fair earlier this year, demand is growing with interest being shown from customers overseas, Andy and Fiona are excited about the future of the business and being able to raise additional funds for their chosen charity.
Andy added: “I love the challenge of design and creating something that people seem to really love. We may well outgrow our workshop in the garden soon and we will need to look at getting someone in to help us. The support we have received from Business Gateway has been crucial to our success, not only in guiding us in the early days with regards to Intellectual Property but also helped us with a range of advice as we grew quicker than expected.”
Lorna Williamson of Business Gateway said: “It’s been a pleasure to support Pop Up Designs from the start of their journey into business. We’ve built up a great relationship with Andy and Fiona and they thoroughly deserve the success they have achieved so far. We look forward to supporting them as their business continues to grow.”
For more information visit www.popupdesigns.co.uk
To find out how Business Gateway Moray can help you visit www.bgateway.com/moray or call 01343 508 838.