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Stitch & Story takes US market by storm

By Mark Hayhurst 29 May 2018

Stitch & Story, a knitting kit manufacturer, has seen sales increase in the last year as a direct result of exporting to the US, following support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

With offices in Dartford, Kent and North Greenwich, London, the business distributes to US marketplace Uncommon Goods, as well as independent gift stores and retailers. The exporting opportunity was secured after Stitch & Story exhibited its products at consumer trade show, NY NOW, with support from DIT.

The trade show highlighted an international demand for the company’s products and prompted the business owners to set-up a US purchasing arm on its website.

The success of Stitch & Story’s international expansion is being celebrated in DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign. They are one of 30 plus companies – encompassing every sector and region – being championed in the campaign, which looks to inspire and support businesses up and down the country to export.

Since embarking on its exporting journey last year, the business has doubled its turnover and expanded its team from two to five employees in nine months. In total, 42 per cent of revenue is generated as a direct result of exporting.

In the UK, its products are stocked at several retailers, including Liberty, John Lewis and Fenwick.

After the success of exporting to the US, the business now has its sights set on Australia, Switzerland, Germany and France, to increase market share in front of a large craft audience

Jenny Lam, Director and Co-founder of Stitch & Story, said: “After securing deals with some of Britain’s most-loved department stores, we wanted to maximise revenue potential and decided to set our sights further afield.

“We knew that getting our products in front of the right buyers was the key to international expansion. Our trip to the NY NOW tradeshow, supported by DIT, helped us secure a deal with Uncommon Goods, which paved our way into the US market.

“It’s no secret that there are plenty of perceived barriers when it comes to exporting. Customs arrangements and tax regulations can be a bit daunting, but there’s plenty of help available. Our trade adviser at DIT provided us with legal advice, as well as sharing useful resources, which made the process far less daunting.

“For any business owners considering exporting, it’s important to remember that there’s support available. If we can do it, other business like us can, too.”

Ben Raby, Head of the Department for International Trade’s South East region, said: “It’s fantastic to see Stitch & Story grow its sales so significantly as a direct result of exporting in the past year.

“British brands have a strong international reputation. Because of this, there’s huge potential demand for businesses like Stitch & Story looking to expand internationally and grow revenue.

“We have a network of International Trade Advisers across the South East who can provide on-the-ground support for regionally-based businesses looking to export.”

Firms looking for support should contact DIT South East at info@tradesoutheast.com or call 0330 300 0012.

They can also visit www.great.gov.uk which gives UK businesses access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business, helping them start or increase exporting.

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