Exporter Case Study: Polkadoodles

Following the final of the 12th Export Action Plan Competition, sponsored and hosted by Bibby Financial Services, we spoke to Polkadoodles – one of the 8 finalists.

What does your company do at the moment and what’s next?

We make products for the paper crafting industry, which we sell worldwide through wholesale and retail outlets. We are expanding further into more retail and wholesale outlets in the USA in 2020.

How are the exports going?

Wholesale exports are 135% up in 2019 vs 2018 – so great!

How has the Export Action Plan helped with your exports?

The plan is a great resource which can be regularly updated to guide processes and focus on your export requirements. It’s been a huge help in identifying the key areas we need to address.

How have you found the experience of the final today?

Excellent! It was very interesting to hear relevant experts and insights at the Birmingham World Trade Summit before hearing about the experiences of other businesses in the final.

What three tips would you give to other new exporters?

  1. Definitely use the Export Action Plan tool. Even if you’re an experienced exporter it can give real clarity to your strategy.
  2. I’d also suggest attending as many trade shows as possible as you can make great contacts
  3. Concentrate on one area until you achieve your goals. That way you won’t lose focus and waste opportunities by spreading yourself too thin.

About Polkadoodles

Polkadoodles Crafts are based in York, manufacturing and selling products to Crafters and Retail stores worldwide through their website.

Formed in 2009, Polkadoodles designs and manufactures a range of products including photopolymer stamps, paper products, steel dies and digital artwork which are used by Papercraft hobbyists all around the world to create their own handmade greeting cards, crafts and home décor items.

In addition, Polkadoodles’ artwork is also sold digitally to crafters who download images they can print at home and use on their craft projects – meaning they have instant access to products 24/7 and can create something on their desk within 2 minutes of purchase – great for when they need a last minute birthday card!

Nikky is regularly seen demonstrating the latest products live on dedicated Craft TV shopping channels in the UK which has helped the brand become well renowned in the UK industry where they have a very loyal fan base of consumers and retailers, but in 2016, recognising the far reaching effects of Brexit, Nikky and Kris set ambitious goals to build a substantial global customer base by focusing on wholesale and distribution markets, concentrating mainly on Europe and the US.

Using the Export Action Plan and guidance from the Institute of Export’s website, Nikky and Kris identified the areas of the business which needed improvement to achieve those business goals and targets, with the ultimate goal to have a substantially larger wholesale base by the Brexit deadline.

Wholesale orders increased gradually month on month, resulting in the appointment of 2 new European distributors in 2018 which helped double the Company’s turnover in 2019.  As a direct result of hard work and determination, Polkadoodles products are now found in Retail outlets across the US, Europe, Australia, Peru, Mexico and beyond, with exciting developments around the corner in 2020 which will reinforce their presence on the global Paper Craft market.

The Open to Export Competition

The Open to Export Action Plan is an intuitive online planning tool which takes you through 5 key steps to export success. It is simple to use and works by asking you to complete tasks and set actions, helping you to establish what you need to know and do to start selling overseas.

Once you have completed the steps, you will generate an action plan which is a brilliant showpiece to take to your bank, business advisor or international trade advisor. You can also enter your plan into one of our regular competitions for the chance to win £3000 towards its implementation.

More information: https://opentoexport.com/info/export-action-plan-competition/

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Report from the 12th Export Action Plan Final
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