Shaun Pulfrey, Inventor and CEO of London-based Tangle Teezer Limited took time to catch his breath and recall the 12 months following their Queen's Award in 2012.
It's been quite a year since we were awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2012, even after the excitement of a visit to Buckingham Palace, and then preparing for a new entry this year. It was such a thrill when I heard we had won, and the first thing we did when allowed, was to post news of the award upon our website, Facebook page, email all of our international distributors and include the logo upon all of our packaging.
The immediate benefit was the reaction within the company, it gave everyone a real lift... and the party we had upon the night of the presentation... well, it feels like it's only just finished!
The feelgood factor also spread around the globe within our business partners. They also felt very proud to be associated with the Queen's Award, and I'm sure a few of them imagined that her Majesty had presented the award in person... they imagined me upon bended-knee!
Incredibly, in the 12 months after the announcement of the award, our export sales rose by 124% adding over £3million to our International sales in just 12 months, and catapulting overseas sales to over 60% of company turnover. We also added no fewer than 14 new overseas markets within that 12 months - ranging from the huge Brazilian market to little Iceland, and our biggest hurdle has been meeting demand.
Of course you can't draw a direct correlation between the Queen's Award and the growth we have experienced, but it's definitely helped.
While we had won many beauty and professional awards before for our product, the Queen's Award was the first award for the business, the first time the whole company had been recognised... and it really felt like a big step forward for all of us. To cope with the business growth we also added 4 new employees within the year, and it seems incredible to look back now and think how it was in the early days when I used to take the orders on a mobile phone, pack them up, and post them out.
So, if anyone is in two minds about applying, I'd recommend it. Even completing the application form was a chance to review the business, to appreciate where our revenue was being generated and then consider the future. But then again, I should be honest... completing the application was useful, but being told we had won was fabulous!