Bath Chronicle

Toy­maker cap­tures imag­i­na­tions in US

- Business · Consumer Goods · Toys · Industries · United States of America · Nuremberg · Australia · New Zealand · Singapore · Malaysia · South Africa · Africa · European Union · United Kingdom · Publishing · Bath · Boreham · Graham Stuart · Nuremberg International Toy Fair

A Bath-based toy­maker is ex­pected to gen­er­ate £350,000 in sales over the next five years.

Buddy & Bar­ney has es­tab­lished it­self in the US mar­ket, with ex­ports of the ed­u­ca­tional toys ac­count­ing for 60 per cent of its rev­enue af­ter a post-lock­down sales resur­gence.

The com­pany was founded in 2016 by Jeremy Bore­ham, who had worked in the toy and pub­lish­ing in­dus­try for more than two decades.

Jeremy named the fam­ily-run op­er­a­tion af­ter his two chil­dren, who act as chief prod­uct testers, with his wife Ling, who joined the team two years ago. The busi­ness’s ed­u­ca­tional toys and books aim to ed­u­cate and en­gage chil­dren while nur­tur­ing their de­vel­op­ment.

Since 2017, Buddy & Bar­ney has re­ceived sup­port from the De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional Trade (DIT), in­clud­ing fund­ing to at­tend trade shows overseas, such as the Nurem­berg In­ter­na­tional Toy Fair in 2019 and 2020.

Th­ese events en­abled the busi­ness to es­tab­lish im­por­tant re­la­tion­ships in sev­eral coun­tries, and now it has hit a growth of 35 per cent in the last year, with the US quickly be­com­ing one of its key mar­kets.

Mr Bore­ham said: “The past few months have def­i­nitely been chal­leng­ing for us. In the early days of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, our busi­ness al­most com­pletely shut down. “How­ever, we have seen in­creased sales to the US post-lock­down, par­tic­u­larly through e-com­merce, which we are cur­rently look­ing to grow fur­ther. We have also used this time to de­velop new prod­ucts and are now re­ally ex­cited to take th­ese to our re­tail part­ners overseas. “With­out the im­por­tant con­nec­tions forged through trade fairs, sup­ported by the De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional Trade fund­ing, we might not have gained footholds in th­ese cru­cial mar­kets.”

Still only in its fourth year, Buddy & Bar­ney’s in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion has al­ready taken its toys to the other side of the world, with the busi­ness se­cur­ing deals with large re­tail­ers in Aus­tralia and New Zealand in 2019.

With its busiest sea­son yet to come, as prepa­ra­tions be­gin for Christ­mas or­ders, Buddy & Bar­ney toys will also be on shop shelves in Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, South Africa and across Europe.

Ex­ports Min­is­ter Graham Stu­art said: “Buddy & Bar­ney’s fan­tas­tic suc­cess in the US demon­strates the strong de­mand for high-qual­ity UK goods overseas.”

 ??  ?? Buddy & Bar­ney founder Jeremy Bore­ham, left, and son Bar­ney with one of the ven­ture’s prod­ucts
Buddy & Bar­ney founder Jeremy Bore­ham, left, and son Bar­ney with one of the ven­ture’s prod­ucts
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