When Covid-19 hit Laura Henderson knew she had to act fast to adapt her hamper making business.
The mum-of-one did just that and it now reaping the rewards.
Ms Henderson’s business – Just A Wee Gift – was selected as the winner of the Trinity Centre’s kiosk competition where she will now spend six months selling her products.
The competition, which saw her win two months rent free, was launched in a bid to encourage more shoppers back to Aberdeen city centre.
Just A Wee Gift specialises in making and supplying hampers and gifts for all occasions.
It also offers a range of other products including personalised gift boxes, activity packs, explosion boxes and nappy cakes for any theme and budget.
Ms Henderson launched her business in 2017 when she was looking for a hamper as a gift for a relative but couldn’t find anyone local to make it.
The mum-of-one said: “I decided to make my own and this is when Just A Wee Gift was born.
“At first we started by attending local fairs and events showcasing the hampers to build a customer base then we continued to expand by launching new products and a Facebook page where customers could place orders.
“I work very hard and I enjoy all the new challenges I face everyday and the best part about the job is meeting the customers and making the unique gifts for them.”
A lot of Ms Henderson’s trade came from attending craft fairs and delivering gifts. But Covid-19 put a stop to that. It was at that time she decided to take a different approach to develop the business.
She said: “During COVID we adapted our services by launching personalised gift boxes, lockdown treat boxes and activity packs.
“We were able to make them at home and post them out to our customers. This was first time we supplied to local corporate clients who gifted their staff hampers and we also supplied hampers to the NHS which was very rewarding.
“We also launched a website to showcase some of products and gain online sales. This has raised our profile and offered a new platform for our customers.
“We were very grateful to our customers for their loyalty and support during this time and these methods provided a huge success as we have continued to grow in launching new products, ideas and promote our marketing by the launch of our website.”
Supporter of local produce
Ms Henderson, who has one employee, has also received support and guidance from Business Gateway and is involved in the Kickstart programme which she is hopeful will lead her to be able to offer employment to more people.
The ambition is to continue expanding and reach out to more local suppliers to use their produce in future hampers.
She said: “My aim is to continue to expand the business by recruiting more staff,
continue to grow our online website and support more local suppliers we use to put their produce and products in our hampers.”
Kenneth Bruce, Trinity Centre operations manager, said: “We are delighted to have Laura with her Just a Wee Gift offer, it’s a fabulous addition to the centre.
“We hoped that the competition could offer a local business a platform to showcase their products.”
Speaking about the win, Ms Henderson said: “I was delighted. It’s a fantastic spot and I’m really looking forward to being there. Anything that can get people back to city centre shops is great.”
Ms Henderson has shown her support for the North East Now campaign, which has made it easy for people to support local firms from a wide range of industries during the pandemic.
She said: “The website is brilliant and a great place to advertise your business.
“I think this is ideal to promote local places and businesses to show the best of the area. It’s great platform to advertise on and fantastic to be part of it alongside great local businesses.”
For further information on Just a Wee Gift, visit www.justaweegift.uk
To find out more about North-East Now, visit www.northeastnow.scot
To share your positive business story, email firstname.lastname@example.org