Eight years ago, young Louis Porter walked into the Corby Evening Telegraph to tell us about the publishing business he and a pal had started, aged just 14.
Now, Corby’s answer to Santa Claus has signed a £1.8m deal to supply personalised Christmas products to the USA’s second largest department store Target.
The 22-year-old is living in an Orlando pad from where he runs the Stateside arm of his business Handmade Christmas Co.
His astonishing success saw him and new business partner Tom Coleman turn over more than £1m selling Christmas sacks during the festive period in 2017.
This festive period, the pair will have their products in 80 Target stores.
Former Brooke Weston pupil Louis and Tom, 29, set up The Handmade Christmas Co, which specialises in personalised baubles, wrapping paper and gift sacks, using a credit card debt and a second-hand printer in 2014.
The firm’s US breakthrough follows a year in which they secured 47 pop-ups across Britain in high-end stores including John Lewis and Marks & Spencer.
Louis said: “Cracking America was always a key goal of ours. We have been selling our Christmas gift sacks online in the US for a few years, however, securing this deal with Target means we now have a physical presence in almost 80 stores across the States.
“It’s an amazing achievement and one that is all the more remarkable when you think we think this time four years ago it was just the two of us working from a tiny office in London.”
The partnership with Target follows pop-up shops across the British high street, with names like Hamleys, Fenwicks and House of Fraser all hosting Handmade Christmas Co concessions.
Last year the firm turned-over £1m and expanded their collections to include personalised baubles and gift wrap.
Tom said: “When we first launched The Handmade Christmas Co we were the first to offer consumers such a wide choice in personalised festive gift sacks. The key to our business is to keep enticing consumers with great quality products and reasonable prices.”