In 2010, Matt Mosse-Robinson was a an investment banker who had worked for three of the biggest banks in Australia, working so many hours he hardly ever had time for his children.
“It got to the point where I hadn’t seen my kids in three weeks,” he said.
Looking for a more family-friendly lifestyle change, he took an interest in his sister-in-law’s small eBay business, where she sold personalized wedding favors. It was doing well on eBay, and had lots of room for growth.
One day, he quit his high-paying job to partner with that sister-in-law, Melissa Wilkinson, in that eBay business, Personalised Favours.
Assuming you read the headline, you can figure out that it was a decision that’s worked out pretty well. Within five years, Personalised Favours launched its own online retail store and just opened its third factory in Sydney, where they both manufacture and personalize a variety of items geared toward wedding couples — laser-cut acrylic name placards for guests, stainless bottle openers, engraved wooden save-the-date cards.
In such a highly competitive industry, they stood out by offering items you couldn’t get anywhere else. While most wedding favor companies either buy items in bulk from China to personalize or create individually-made handmade pieces that cost a fortune, Personalized Favours (known in the U.S. as Personalized Favors) has found a pretty sweet middle ground, where they can offer items that are both unusual and mass produced.
The internet being the internet, the business evolved into an international one. With a growing U.S. customer base, they decided to open a U.S. HQ here in Delaware, at 1313 Innovation.
With a small office and just one U.S. employee, there’s plenty of room for growth, but, for now, all products are still made in Sydney.
“We can ship from Australia to the U.S. in four days,” Mosse-Robinson said. “We can’t do Amazon’s two days, but we’re pretty close.”
Considering the fact that their items aren’t on Amazon and the popularity of 14-day shipping retail import apps like Wish, four days from Australia sounds pretty great.
While the U.S. version focuses on wedding items exclusively, in Australia they’ve branched out into branded materials for businesses (aka the free stuff you get at table events). With the popularity and competitiveness of branded giveaways, it shouldn’t be terribly long before you can get some branded engraved wooden coasters for your company, too.