In a recent interview TEN Magazine met up with Peter Sansome, Owner of My-Accessories.co.uk
My-Accessories.co.uk are a multi-channel online ecommerce company founded by Peter Sansome back in 2006. They have recently rebranded so some of you may know them as Blank Products Ltd. My-Accessories specialise in supplying blank promotional and gifts items that all have the ability to insert your own artwork, craftwork and photos. This allows their customers to produce finished promotional & gift merchandise for giveaway, re-sale or gifting.
Peter, who was previously from the greeting cards industry, recognised a gap in the market for people who wanted to produce their own personalised items that could be made from artwork/images produced by themselves or by their clients. He saw the potential that the personalisation market offered for people who wanted to start their own business but without the expensive outlay of capital equipment.
“We started by testing the market on eBay, which in itself was still relatively new in the UK and due to the success of sales, we could clearly see that there was market potential” commented Peter. My-Accessories expanded quite rapidly from a small home office into a larger 600sqft unit in 2007. “As a result we launched our own ecommerce website and have ploughed numerous resources into keeping this up to date with the latest digital technology” said Peter.
In 2008 Peter purchased his major rival who was struggling – the company My-Accessories. Peter and his team took this brand from strength to strength and increased his customer portfolio to such an extent that he had to take on further employees and move into an even larger 4500 sqft premises. To keep the company evolving My-Accessories launched into multiple markets, increased their product range, which included a large offering of Christmas gifts, photo frames and corporate items to name but a few. Coupled with their digital marketing platforms and using outside agencies with specific skills to meet their needs, expansion has been rapid. This has allowed Peter to push into further niche markets including event photographers where their products have smoothly integrated into their clients’ existing portfolios.
Peter has spent a lot of time extensively researching and sourcing new products from all over the world, from Europe to Asia and has travelled extensively meeting and building relationships with suppliers. Badge machines became a major part of the business, allowing customers to set up their own business or add to their existing personalisation portfolio. The perfect “business in a box”! He sourced a high quality European machine which could produce high volumes with a quality product every time. He has since become the sole UK distributor for these machines.
The success of the badge system produced another idea. Peter saw the opportunity to create a second readymade business and launched the new brand ‘KeyringFab’ which allowed customers to create high quality metal keyrings and associated products in low volume production runs whilst also returning high profit margins. Together with the badge system, this gives people the opportunity to start a business from home, or for larger organisations to produce their own promotional/gift products in house without any specialist knowledge. The Keyringfab system is ideal for creating gift and promotional items and amongst the current users there are event photographers, trophy and award shops, sports shops, party & balloons organisations, clothing embroidery/printwear suppliers to name but a few.
My-Accessories’ next push is to increase their International presence further via a marketplaces strategy, (they currently ship to 48 countries) which will be aided by specialised software that will be used to increase their share of this vast market, making transactions seamless for the end user. “It’s like going back to where we started and using these platforms to greater effect, now that technology has evolved” said Peter.
Over the years there has been massive increase in the demand for personalised items. The UK market continues to grow with sales in excess 1 billion pounds for 2018 and over 53% of UK adults sending a personalised item in that year. My-accessories has recognised the rising growth in this area and are making these items available for self-assembly or via a 3rd party.
“We strive to be the best we can in customer service and we demand high standards from our suppliers and employees. We recognise that the customer is at the forefront of our business. We aim to always fulfil the orders placed by 2pm for same working day despatch and will try to go the extra mile for our customers. We value all our customers with the same mind-set, whether they be large corporate business or sole traders. My-Accessories have over 800 positive reviews online and are very thankful to our loyal customer base for taking time out to spread the word. If there ever is an issue, we will do our utmost to sort out the problem.” Said Peter.
My-Accessories aim is to inspire its customers to design and manufacture promotional and gift merchandise in a timely and profitable way that enhances and grows their own revenue stream. The My-Accessories team is always on hand to give advice to new and existing customers on how they can maximise output, and develop new markets.