In 2008, we formed a specialist distribution company called Nunet Ltd. The model was simple - we sourced products from factories in the UK and abroad to supply our UK customer base. The specialisation aspect concerned the product range, as we stuck to presentation stationery; binders, folders, wallets and boxes.
While there were advantages to this model, certain aspects began to niggle. Control over orders and lead times, being sure of the working practices and the materials used by the companies we sourced from, and just a growing feeling that we could be more. So - in 2011, we bought a factory and became the manufacturer.
While the learning curve was steep, our customers soon enjoyed all the benefits of being next to the maker— greater control of supply, confidence in the materials used in their products, and the knowledge that a well-run, responsible UK factory was manufacturing them.
Paper over Board
Paper over board (POB) products such as binders and presentation boxes began to grow steadily over the years, and by 2017 we had invested in the machinery and people required to push paper-based products. There was a growing sense that we were heading in the right direction.
POB received a considerable boost when Little Box of Crochet (the UK's first crochet subscription box) decided to have their boxes manufactured here with us, rather than import from the Far East. It's a relationship we maintain and cherish to this day. That show of confidence meant everything.
Objectively the most challenging year the world has had for a very long time. Both at home and work (work becoming home for so many) we all faced multiple challenges coming from many different directions. In among the grant applications, furlough and bounce back loans, we began to pick up on the only product type that seemed to be growing; boxes.
Increasingly we received enquiries from, sent samples to and started working for people either starting their own business or moving large parts of their existing business, on-line. What's more, our new customers told us that our skillset, product range, sustainable materials, and local manufacturing were what the market lacked. We wrote `The Dorset Box Company' on the whiteboard, and that was that.
We've launched! There's a mission to become the UK's local box maker. We'll measure success by how well our customers are doing, by how many people we employ and by how sustainable our boxes continue to be. We'll always make your boxes here.
Expect to see the product range increase over the up and coming months. Postal cartons, hinged lid boxes and shouldered jewellery boxes are all planned and will be available to buy on-line. We'll also be releasing limited editions; collaborations with local and international artists and designers.
We'll keep improving the site and listening to your feedback. We'll be continuously working on making the best possible boxes as sustainably as possible. Most of all, we wish you and the world all the best for 2021 and beyond.