This is the second in a two-part series outlining the background of the Radical Tea Towel Company. You can read the first part of our story here.
By Luke, co-founder
If you’ve read Beatrice’s post on the origins of the Radical Tea Towel Company, you’ll know that the concept for our site was originally spurred by her attempts to find a politically-themed but also practical gift for an elderly relative.
It was quite a challenge initially getting our project off the ground, but fortunately, we found out pretty quickly that Beatrice wasn’t the only one interested in radically themed stuff. A few years ago, you couldn’t get more than books and t-shirts for progressive-minded people, but in the past couple of years, we’ve grown from just a few tea towel designs, to expanding our range of political gifts to include mugs, bags, cards and fridge magnets.
It’s an interesting experience, this whole start-up business thing. You have to juggle several projects all at once: the products, the website (more work than it seems!), suppliers, wholesalers, social media, and of course the customers. Today, we still get the tea towels and other goods made by British manufacturers, and literally pack the orders from a front room in South Wales. We think that means you get a more personalised service – every order is carefully prepared and posted at the local post office.
Whilst getting our name out there, we’ve learnt that Google and Facebook advertising will only get you so far. We know that loyal followers and gaining repeated visits to a website are only possible by continually providing new value: whether that be a new product, engagement on social media or a blog post.
That’s why earlier this year re-launched the blog on the website, talking about politics, washing up and tea. And the good news is that we have great fun writing about everything from tea cosies to 19th century political reform.
Sure, we’re not John Lewis just yet 😉 But we have a lot of fun coming up with our designs, and are driven by the enjoyment of spreading thoughtful and interesting ideas across the world through the things we make. Our plan is to become the biggest political gift website out there – whilst making sure that it maintains a radical progressive theme, supports UK manufacturing and still has a personalised service.
We’re honoured by the support received to date – thank you!
P.S. By the way – we’ve just put our Christmas cards up on the website, and a couple of new designs will be launched before November, so keep your eyes peeled!