In an afternoon to treasure, last Friday (August 16) retailers, suppliers, family and friends of Wrendale Designs gathered to witness the Queen’s representative for Lincolnshire, Lord Lieutenant Toby Dennis officially present Hannah and Jack Dale, co-owners of Wrendale Designs with the company’s grant of appointment, having been awarded with a 2019 Queen’s Award for International Trade in recognition of the company’s soaring success overseas. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/celebratory-messages-flood-in-as-news-spreads-of-wrendale-designs-queens-award/)
Thanking everyone at the ceremonial event, which took place at Hannah and Jack’s farmhouse in rural Lincolnshire, Hannah said: “We are very honoured to have been given this award but we’re very conscious that we couldn’t have done it on our own, and so we decided that the best way to share it with everyone would be to throw a garden party on a beautiful summer’s day in August as a big thank you to all of those who have supported us since we first started Wrendale.”
Harking back to the early days of the business, Hannah admitted: “I think that it’s fair to say that we never expected Wrendale to take off in the way that it has done – it’s also somewhat surprising given that my knowledge of design meant that I spent the first six months merrily cutting all of the original artwork in half so that it would fit into an A4 scanner, not realising that I could just turn it around and scan the other half.
I think Jack soon realised that I could do with a bit of help when he came back from work to find me typing out invoices in Word, tapping away at a calculator to add up the amount and hand writing all of the addresses.”
As well as paying tribute to those in the trade (both retailers and suppliers) and the company staff who have been instrumental in Wrendale’s growth she also gave thanks to a special little team – her and Jack’s children.
“The children have probably been most impacted by our decision to start an all-consuming business while they were very little – Oliver, or ‘The Chairman’ as he is known at work came with us to a number of trade shows in his pram and definitely helped us to get a few extra orders! I’m sure the girls will remember the excitement of the snow days last winter soon turning into a longing for school by day two of helping pack cards in the warehouse! I also remember Amelia’s nursery teacher having a quiet word with me after she had covered the table and most of her friends in paint in an attempt to add splatters to her finished piece because… why wouldn’t you?”
Among the retailers who were in attendance, was Pete Whiteman of Dzodzo in Woodbridge, a stockist of Wrendale products since the very early days.
“Hannah really is a shining light in our industry,” said Pete summing up his view of Hannah Dale, the creative maestro behind the business. “It really was a wonderful occasion, and a tribute to the hard work and dedication of Hannah, Jack and the whole Wrendale team,” added Pete who attended with his wife and business partner, Jelena. “I don’t think in all the years we have traded, that we have dealt with such a family-orientated company. Nothing is ever too much bother and the service is incredible,” added Pete, paying tribute to the Wrendale team and its modus operandi. ”The product range goes from strength to strength without ever falling down on quality. We sincerely wish all the best for Hannah. It is superb to see someone enter our great industry and thrive as she continues to do.”
In his speech at the event, John Skeet, managing director of Skeet Print, a major supplier to Wrendale, paid tribute to how the business has grown in tandem with the raising of the Dales’ young family. “When we first started working together we had R&D meetings on the kitchen table, the same table that Hannah created her amazing artwork, while entertaining the children who played in the same room,” reminisced John. He congratulated Hannah and Jack on their phenomenal business success and talked about “how in an area where the traditional industries have been hit hard, Wrendale has created proper jobs and careers for people, which is vitally important for a local economy.”
John then surprised Hannah and Jack by presenting them with a canvas based on a photograph of the two of them taken at Buckingham Palace when they attended a reception for this year’s Queen’s award recipients.
Top: Hannah and Jack Dale, co-owners of Wrendale Designs (and ‘chairman’ Oliver Dale, bottom left) with the framed certificate of the company’s Queen’s Award for International Trade.