Here at The Personalised Wedding Company we are a happily married couple who sell beautifuly unique Wedding Gifts to Brides and Grooms to be. Here is our Story...
Anthony (One half of The Personalised Wedding Company)
In the early part of my life I grew up in London with my Mother. This quickly changed and we found ourselves living in the heart of Devon where I currently live with my beautiful little family of five. Being in my late twenties and having the most fantastic and supportive family gave me the space to grow and to follow my dreams. When I left college I took a path that would take me on the craziest journey, traveling around the world and meeting the most incredible people. I based myself out of Southampton and took every day as it came. After 5 years of living out of suitcases I decided to move back home with my then girlfriend Bethan and well the rest is history as they say…
Bethan (The better half of The Personalised Wedding Company)
I was born in Cardiff and lived in this amazing city until I was 11 years old when my Dad, siblings and I moved down to Devon in 1999. I left College in 2006 after studying A levels, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but submitted my Uni application on the last day possible only to find myself being accepted and back in Cardiff that September. I lived the student lifestyle for 3 years, working when I could and traveling to Bristol a lot to visit my still Best Friend Kate. Leaving everything to the last minute was me back then and I managed to get my dissertation bound on the very last day it could be accepted and well what do you know I came out with a 2:1 BA Honours Degree. Anthony and myself decided after a long distance relationship it was time to move closer together and the opportunity came up to move back down with our families and we found ourselves where we are today…
We first met in year 7 of college, we hung around in the same group of friends but didn't speak to each other, this is strange as the group was only 6 strong. We grew closer towards the end of college but then I (Anthony) moved away but would often come back home and meet up with Bethan and the rest. Two years later Bethan found herself moving back to Cardiff and we had something in common, we were the only ones out of our friends to move away from home and this drew us closer. The day before Bethan set off to Uni we all decided to go to the local Ram Roast (It’s like a fate). This is when I knew Bethan was the person that makes me smile. After a few more years of meeting up and going out I decided to ask Bethan to be my girlfriend in late 2008, she said yes of course and this would be the most testing time of our relationship to date. Living over a hundred miles apart and the busy lifestyles we led made it hard but I can gladly say we got through it with a few minor bumps and scrapes. In 2010 we both decided it was time to move closer together. We moved back to Devon and lived with my parents for 6 months until we found Jobs and saved enough to rent a lovely barn conversation just out side of Okehampton, Devon. In this barn came the idea to start our own business. We both enjoyed our jobs but were both itching to do something more and make something for ourselves. We started to follow Bethan’s business model which she created in her last year at Uni, early on we found it much harder than just saying I'm going to open an online shop, especially when we had no start up funds. On and off for around a year we tried to build the business plan, find suppliers and the rest that goes into a start up business. We finally got there and was approved by the bank for a small business loan which was one of the most exciting days yet. The business was all about premature babies, offering emergency starter bundles which were full of the things you would need at short notice. I honestly thought we would be making a six figure income by the end of the year, Ha!
In 2011 I took Bethan via Helicopter to the Isle of Scilly for our 3 year Anniversary, got down on one knee and popped the question. She said Yes! and we got wedding planning straight away! On New Years Eve instead of partying we were booking flights to the Caribbean for the following November so we could get married on a tropical Beach. We became Mr & Mrs Hemingway on 2nd November 2012 in the Dominican Republic with a few close Friends and Family. It was truly the most relaxing day of my life and we spent the morning snorkelling in the sea and sipping Mimosas on the Beach before Saying I Do. We returned to the UK for a Wedding Party and to get back to our business of course.
The business was going well and Bethan soon fell pregnant and in November 2013 our Beautiful daughter, Indie was born weighing 8lbs 10oz and definitely not fitting in to the premature clothes we sold. So we bought a some bigger sizes and invested in a small embroidery machine and started to sell personalised baby hats, that Indie could model. This quickly took off and we knew this was the way we wanted to go. So we saved up and bought a few more clothing items and small bits of machinery and got to work creating new designs using Indie as our inspiration. She was the apple in our eyes and I believe this is what has driven us to be more motivated than ever. I was working a full time job, Bethan was at home trying for fulfil the orders coming in from the business in a 1 bed flat surrounded by stock. We quickly outgrew the flat and moved into a 3 bed house. It then became time for Bethan to return to work but she just couldn’t go back to working in a shop when her passion was for the business, so we took the jump and Bethan became full time for the business. This was a massive step for us as the income was irregular and having a 9 month old your decisions become more grown up. Anyway Bethan took to this like a duck to water as they say and every spare moment she was working on new designs, this is where her passion for designing really came out. Items in our store were selling really well and before we knew it we were selling personalised gifts for every occasion. I soon decided to go part time so I could help more with the business. I remember being on a weekend break for Indie’s first birthday and the sales just wouldn't stop coming through. This would soon become the most stressful time of this process, We averaged between 2-3 hours of sleep a day Monday-Friday for little under 2 months around the festive period. This was the first time we felt the true potential of the business and after taking a little break we invested the money we made on more stock and better machines. I cut my hours even more and we started to work as a full time partnership tag teaming the little one so that she had our full attention. The summer of this year would prove to be very interesting and we took the business in a new direction. Would be brides were getting in touch with Bethan and asking if she could design bespoke items for their big day. Bethan took this on her ever increasing work load and found a new passion for creating unique wedding designs that stood out from the crowd. This is where the idea of setting up a dedicated shop that caters for personalised wedding gifts and favours came from. We were soon back into the festive season and by this time Bethan was heavily pregnant with our second child. We worked through it with a little help from a few family members and by this time I had given up employment and was full time on the business. Sales for Christmas were at an all time high and in January 2016 we knew we needed to invest the money we made into the rebranding of our business to what it is today. The Personalised Wedding Company was launched. Shortly after in March 2016 , Nathaniel, our Cheeky Chappy was born.
Now in late summer 2016 we have moved yet again to a lovely 4 bed house with a stunning garden. We have offices from which the business runs out of and we have 3 part time employees which help us create quality items for our customers and Brides to be. We can honestly say the last 6 years have been the most exhilarating and stressful time of our lives but we wouldn't change it for the world. We have a thriving business, 2 beautiful children, a loyal dog, a lovely house and a marriage that is full with love for each other. We count ourselves as the lucky ones and have so much more to give.
Moving forward, we have a range of unique lines coming out and have invested time and money into new and exciting projects which are coming together nicely and will be released soon.
Our Staff (Its A family affair) -
Rhiannon - Bethan’s eldest sister has been working with us for over 2 years now and can turn her hand to most things we throw at her and is such a vital part to our business.
Sandra - Anthony’s Mother has been working for us just over a year and a half and we can’t thank her enough. She has taken on some of the most demanding elements of the business and can truly say we would not be where we are today with out the help she has given.
Cerys - Bethan’s youngest sister has just started with us and is getting to grips with the array of tasks that come with a personalised business. She brings fresh ideas which we can harness and take forward.
If you like our story so far feel free to share our journey by checking out our blog and following us on
Facebook - www.facebook.com/ThePersonalisedWeddingCo
Twitter - www.twitter.com/TPWCUK
Instagram - www.instagram.com/thepersonalisedweddingcompany
Pinterest - www.pinterest.com/thepersonalised
Thank you for taking the time to read our experience up until now and if you are thinking of starting a business of your own. We say DO IT!