With a new year just around the corner, we’re feeling reflective and appreciative here at CE, and are taking a look back on 2014 so far. What a great year it’s been! We’ve invested in our people; taking on some talented new recruits as well as internal promotions; we’ve developed some great new and existing customer relationships, raised our profile on social media, and generally had lots of fun as a team, raising money for some great charitable causes.
We’ve put together our highlights from the past year, to give you an insight to what it’s like behind the scenes here at CE – but also a few things we’re especially proud of, or just made us smile!
It’s a frosty January 2014, and Web Developer Emmanuel illustrates what’s the CE kitchen looks like at 9.00am every Monday for the morning caffeine fix…
Morning caffeine run aside, January was also a great month for developing our existing client relationships, expanding our Uniform and Merchandise services into key Education and Retail sectors.
In March, new recruits Emma Killingbeck from Wakefield and multilingual Gemma Piedraftia joined the team as Account executives. Gemma speaks English, German and Spanish (her ‘mother tongue’) and has previous experience in graphic design and marketing. Emma on the other hand, is a Yorkshire lass who studied Business and Management at Exeter University, with previous experience in technical sales.
March was also a great month for our Print team who won a significant order for 10,200 t-shirts for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil!
Account Manager Richard Burniston and his team mates Charlotte Hooper and Gemma Piedrafita made a visit to Germany to support our longstanding client, Life Fitness at FIBO – Europe’s largest Health and Fitness exhibition. Feedback from Life Fitness was extremely positive, especially when it came to the overall customer service they received from us and the Life Fitness online shop which we developed for them to manage their branded merchandise and clothing requirements.
Our Print Department continued to grow with the investment in a new bagging machine to improve production speed when bagging branded clothing.
We also worked our digital music for new client Fight Science, a leading independent performance gym and martial arts specialist, who required a website to enable online ordering of their branded clothing, also produced by us. A bespoke CO3 website for Fight Science was developed which you can view here: http://fightscience-shop.co.uk/category
Our uniform team got a boost with its new recruit Lauren Faulkner from Manchester, who joined us in May, bringing with her a range of retail, sales and customer service experience.
We were over the moon to appoint promotional industry heavyweight, Russell Coulston, to our senior team as Creative Director! Russell joined the company at a great point in our growth and brings with him a wealth of experience in the promotional merchandise industry, as well as significant marketing and brand management expertise.
Skipping through to August, it was a great Summer for us. We celebrated our annual Summer BBQ on 15th August as a way of saying “thanks” to our team for their great work. Organised by our “Social Committee”, the event did not disappoint – with music, dancing and lots of food – as well as a “mini golf simulator” for some fun competition!
More investments were made into our Print machinery with a new transfer printing line which now enables us to print garments at twice the speed!
Newbie Kirsty Davison joined our growing team in August as an Account Executive. Before joining CE she spent three months in Bordeaux and one year at the University of Murcia in Spain as part of her studies at the University of Leeds. Bi-lingual Kirsty also spent time traveling in Southern France, and completed a three month Advertising and Branding internship in Prague with global advertising agency DDB, working with some huge clients!
Congrats were in order for Sales Manager Faulkner, who has worked at CE for over 8 years, after a promotion to Business Development Director taking charge of all new and existing client relationships.
We had loads of fun getting involved and supporting our Industry in September, as part of Promotional Products Week 2014. Running from the 15-19th September, #PPweek aimed to raise the profile of promotional products and encourage their use amongst marketing folk to ensure they play a key role not just in the marketing mix; but as a key consideration in strategy development. In typical CE style we immersed ourselves in the week-long event, engaging with the #PPweek hashtag on Twitter and were rockin’ out the #PromoRocks theme; with rock-star t-shirts and merchandise (pictured above), as well as a few of our team members blogging about their favourite promo products.
Team mates Kelly, Richard and Jen took part in the Great North Run, raising over £1000 for our chosen charity, Martin House Hospice!
Doing our bit for corporate social responsibility, we raised £735 for Cancer Research UK in our November bag donation.
November was also a month of capital investment, where we installed solar panels to our facilities in a bid to reduce our carbon footprint and increase the use of green energy.
We also supported the University of Manchester with a pop-up merchandise shop at their December graduation event, to promote their branded graduation merchandise.
We gave intu a helping hand with some Elf garments for their Eldon Square and Metro shopping centres:
Well, that’s it for our year in review! There are so many things that made us happy and be proud over the past year, and we want to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to our great team and our lovely clients, for making this year extra special. Here’s to another prosperous year ahead as we countdown to 2015!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!
PS: How was 2014 for you? Feel free to leave a comment below or drop us a tweet @creativeempo
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