Victoria Eggs creates bold and playful homeware and gifts, handmade in Britain. Designed to make you smile, the British inspired designs range from London Bus Bags to Scottish Aprons and from Nautical Tea Towels to Kitchen Wallpaper. The collection includes aprons, tea towels, oven mitts, fine bone china mugs, cushions, canvas bags, screen prints and wallpaper, alongside a fun collection of greetings cards and gift wrap.
As a judge at the recent Export Action Plan Competition final, how did you find the experience of the day?
It was hugely inspiring. It was great to read all the Action Plans, which gave you an understanding of what the companies were like. To then hear them present and talk about their products further was really interesting and made it very difficult to pick the final winner!
What were your impressions of the tool and the reports it generated?
It was useful to have everyone’s plans laid out in the same way and it answered everything you needed to know about the company and their export plans.
I think it would be useful for any business, whether you’re applying for a competition or not. It’s a great exercise because it asks you the right questions (which can be challenging at times) and allows you to see where your knowledge gaps are and where you need to focus your attention.
Would you use the tool if you were starting all over again in starting to export yourself?
I’ve kept a layout of it for myself! It’s a good way to get things clear in your head and to know your strengths and weaknesses.
What are Victoria Eggs doing right now and how have your exports helped you to grow?
I’m exporting all my products now including tea towels, aprons, mugs, bags, cards and wraps. Our main export destinations are America, Japan, Taiwan and Australia all of which have different import criteria so there has been a lot of searching online for things like tax codes and import duties.
I remember you were saying that you were going to New York for a tradeshow?
It was such a great trade show for us. It paid for itself after the first order so it was much better than I even could have hoped for and we’re already receiving repeat orders.
What tips would you give to first-time exporters today?
Attention to detail when exporting can make a real difference. Lots of little things like knowing what the import tax codes and import duties are going to be and what information you should be putting on your invoice. Something as simple as not writing the place of manufacture can get your product held up in customs.
If possible let your customers know what import duties they can expect to pay and pay towards the shipping costs to make it more appealing to them to buy from overseas. It’s generally a lot easier to buy something from your own country so make sure you make it as easy as possible for them.