Former Hull based Marketing Consultant/Co-owner of Fred Marketing, Helen Davies, has launched a brand new online retail business following a life changing event that led to her children spending 10 weeks in Hull’s Special Care Baby Unit and giving her the brainchild for the new business venture.
The Lovely Keepsake Company is an online store specialising in gifts and keepsakes to help preserve momentos and treasured items from events and occasions all through life.
Prior to Fred, Helen was a Director of ispace (innovating space ltd) and Marketing Communications Director of Dixon Motors PLC and RBS Car Division.
In May 2013, Helen’s twin babies arrived prematurely at 29 weeks, which as well as causing her to re-evaluate her life and sell her shares in the successful marketing agency, also gave her the idea for a new commercial venture. She saw a gap in the market and a way to manage work around bringing up her three children. Twins Anya and Xavier spent 10 weeks in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and as they improved nurses would often give Helen momentos for a memory box such as a tiny oxygen mask or canula and at the time, Helen didn’t have such a box to keep those treasured items.
Once the babies were well enough, Helen began researching the market and soon drew up a collection of products aimed at NICU parents to help capture that special time, including a specially written record book tracking the baby’s journey through NICU. This idea then grew to other children’s milestones and life events to what is now a comprehensive product offer to celebrate, record and enjoy events all through life from leaving school, graduation, weddings, anniversaries and retirement, even bereavement.
The store has more than 400 products including Fingerprint Art, Signature Items, Journals, Jewellery Boxes, Photo Frames, Moulding and Handprint Kits and much more, with more than 70 personalised items. Working with talented craftsmen and women from East Yorkshire, Helen has also designed and had produced a number of the products herself including Journals, Keepsake Boxes and Memory Bears.
Helen said: “There are a number of different sites that offer some of the products for some of the occasions but nobody offered all those products for every life event all in one place.”
She said: “The concept for this new site was born out of the realisation of how precious life is and how quickly time passes us by. The more we talked about wanting to find ways to look after treasured keepsakes and have memories on display around us, the more we realised there was a need for more innovative, accessible ways to find these products.
“Too often we stuff our children’s paintings or photos of a great night out in the back of a drawer or cupboard, whereas if we had more imaginative ways of having these precious items on show or stored safely where they are easy to find and enjoy, we could remember all those memories more frequently and enjoy all those moments that make us smile most.”
"I loved marketing and consulting with others on how to ensure their marketing spend postively impacted their bottom line and delivered real commercial value. That experience isn't wasted, in fact I retain a couple of clients who I continue to support, but I'm able to use that knowledge and know how on my own business now, which is overwhelmingly rewarding and exciting."
To thank Hull’s NICU team, Helen and family launched an appeal and raised £52,722 in 2014 to fund much needed equipment. The fund is continuing with the new business as Helen is inviting customers of every product in the NICU/Special Care Baby collection to donate 50p and The Lovely Keepsake Company will match that with 50p.