Ecommerce store shoppers

Successful Derby Business Urges People To ‘Buy Local’ This Christmas

A Derby business that thrived during the pandemic has urged people to shop locally and independently during the holiday season.

Kerry and Liam Bilson, who founded e-commerce site Letterbox Love, want Derbyshire people to remember the “little ones” when shopping for gifts for friends and family this Christmas.

The couple say choosing to buy from an independent store is more important than ever, as many small businesses will look to recoup lost profits over the coming months.

Liam, 29, said: “We couldn’t have gotten to where we are now without the support of our small business community.

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“We have talked a lot to the directors and owners of these small businesses that we have befriended and they are all feeling the pressure this Christmas.

“A lot of them really rely on Christmas for the majority of their sales and it’s not uncommon.

“An eBay survey found that 79% of shoppers turn to a competitor when a small business runs out of stock because there is rarely brand loyalty.

“So companies like us have to make the inevitable gamble of investing in stocks, a lot of stocks, around Christmas time.”

Since speaking to Derbyshire Live in February this year, Letterbox Love has tripled its turnover and moved the business to a dedicated office based in Ripley.

They both quit their full-time jobs and haven’t looked back, but they still understand the importance of continued support from their clients.

They believe that choosing small independent businesses is also good for the consumer.

When buyers spend their money locally, they reinvest in their area and improve the community for everyone.

This not only helps boost the local economy, but also reduces carbon emissions.

Kerry, 27, said: “Supporting small local businesses is also much better for the environment. We are a member of Ecology which supports project-based organizations by planting trees and getting involved.

“Letterbox Love has already planted over 350 trees.”

The couple love what they do, but most of all love working together.

Kerry focuses on the creative side of the business, while Liam manages the logistics.

The two are mutually reinforcing and they believe that this, combined with a lot of hard work and dedication, has allowed the company to grow so successfully.

With 10 new designs slated for release in January of next year, they have no plans to stop developing.

Letterbox Love offers over 70 different products, as well as a “make your own” option where shoppers can mix and match poems with products.

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