As part of our buildup to the Queen's Award Gala Dinner this September, we're talking to some of this year's international trade winners.
In this interview, we talk to Merci Maman - a London jewellery maker inspired by its French roots:
What does your business do and where are you at the moment in terms of your exports?
Merci Maman is a unique online brand selling original and charming personalised gifts. Inspired by our French roots and handmade in our studio, each individual piece of jewellery tells a unique story. The personalisations are all hand-engraved with elegance and precision, making the gift giving and receiving experience extra special. Every element, from the materials and crafting skills to the distinctive signature orange boxes, is used to create the perfect gifts for your loved ones to cherish. We were honoured in the awards’ International Trade category for our outstanding international growth having increased our overseas earnings, which now account for a third of our £3m turnover.
How did it feel to win a Queen's Award and how has winning one impacted your business?
We are so honoured to receive this award and to be recognised by the Queen for our International Trade strategy. Born in France, I launched Merci Maman 10 years ago in London and have since been amazed by the encouragement of the UK, allowing our business to grow both across the country and internationally. I feel so proud and humbled to have this support, it’s a royal seal of approval for our entire team, a reward that encourages us and makes us want to grow further!
You’ve signed up for IOE&IT membership. What was the main factor for you in taking up the membership?
We are keen to expand our knowledge and network in International Trade, share best practices with other exporting businesses and attend events.
Are you looking forward to the Queen’s Award dinner? What are you most looking forward to about it?
We are very much looking forward to the Queen’s Award dinner, not only because of the prestigious location in the Royal Horseguards Hotel, but also to meet fellow winners of the Queen’s Awards in the International Trade category.
What’s the next big thing for your business?
In 2016 we opened an atelier in Paris and there are plans to expand further into Europe: by opening a third atelier in Germany in 2018 and translating our website in Spanish and in Italian.
You can sign up to the Queen's Award dinner for a fabulous celebration of the Queen's Award winners' achievements at the Royal Horseguards Hotel here.
You can also apply for an award yourself in this year's International Category - more info.