We thought now would be a good time to re-introduce Inkerman to our followers (existing and new) to give everyone a brief overview of our business: how we started, our values, our challenges and goals, to introduce our staff & craftsmen and to show you how products are designed and made.
It’s been 24 years since we drove through England with a copy of the yellow pages (we didn’t have the internet in 1996) visiting silversmiths, leathersmiths, pewterers, glass blowers, etchers, engravers, box makers and designers, many of whom we still work with today. Friends helped us with our logo, photography and first brochure and Inkerman started selling gifts to the corporate sector which was a rapidly expanding market in England during the nineties. We had a brilliant twelve years with turnover doubling year on year, staff numbers increasing at a fast rate and great offices in Notting Hill Gate. We were living the dream!
The financial crash of 2008 hit us hard with monthly revenue plummeting as companies pulled their event & entertainment budgets, but with great relief we saw budgets quickly diverted to sponsorship, so we started designing and making trophies and awards which now makes up over 50% of our business. In more recent years we have been promoting our general gift business supplying presents, many customised with bespoke designs for birthdays & weddings, christenings, confirmations, anniversaries, thank yous and housewarming gifts.
Inkerman has three main areas of business – an interesting challenge when considering marketing. These areas are gifts for the general public, trophies, medals & awards for the sporting market and business gifts & awards for corporates. Under the general gift heading we break it down further and supply bespoke gifts to schools & universities, specific gifts to retail shops, online members stores and associated charities.
Inkerman etched glassware is one of our core ranges and we constantly add to our sporting, city and countryside designs with a varied selection of products and, along with our silver and pewter products, we have a large selection of items popular as trophies as well as general gifts. We make many gifts to order including runs of bespoke leather products and silver items as well as sourcing specific gifts for clients when required. We are always on the search for additional British craftsmen and British products.
The Inkerman offices moved from London to the Kent Sussex border six years ago and we have ten permanent employees; we have always supported mothers returning to work and entry level school leavers with staff working flexible hours. We are all perfectionists and we maintain our original values of offering the highest standards of personal customer service and our passion for British manufacture - we try as hard as we can to buy British and we still like talking to our customers.
We look to expand the business year on year and one of our main challenges is to become everyone’s ‘go to’ place for gifts and trophies - that and finding the ‘ultimate product’ of course, everyone’s dream!
Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to our staff and to some of our craftsmen, we will be showing you how a product is designed and produced, we will be showing you our new product for 2020-21 and telling you about some of our current projects.
Please follow us on Instagram @inkermanlondon and facebook for weekly updates, new products, competitions and offers.