That’s mine is a manufacturer of functional and stylish personalised embroidered gifts for babies, children and children with special needs. The company was founded by husband and wife team, Elaine and Paul Cribb – SME caught up with Elaine to hear their story…
• Tell me about your company – where did the idea come from? How did you get started?
I studied textile design and embroidery as a degree and then went on to work in the nursery textile industry, eventually becoming a design director for a nursery company. During my time in the industry I worked with all the major retailers such as Mothercare, Early Learning Centre, Boots, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Harrods and Toys r Us. However, when I became a mother I wanted to work around my children, pick them up from school and generally be there for them.
I always felt there was a need for high quality, design led, fun and functional personalised embroidered products. Inspired by my own experiences of working in the nursery industry and parenthood, I launched ‘That’s mine’ many years ago in Chorley, Lancashire. However, it is only recently that I have, along with my husband, Paul, embarked on the nationwide launch of That’s mine, a range of functional and stylish personalised embroidered gifts for babies, children and children with special needs.
The company mantra reflects our belief that ‘everyone is an individual’ and our product offer gives parents access to a range of colourful and high quality textiles and toys, which can be personalised for nursery, school, for gifts or just for fun. The name was inspired by all those children out there who become protective over their belonging… “Hey, that’s mine!”
At That’s mine we believe too many children are growing up in a cold, digitised world and tactile, personalised products like ours can strengthen their sense of identity. Our logo is in fact taken from our elder daughter’s hand print when she was only 6 months old.
We are a husband and wife team and do everything together within the business. The work is divided between us, each having our own skills and defined areas of responsibility. I look after all aspects of the product design, photography, website design and our overall company image and all the product embroidery.
My husband, Paul, controls the website, all aspects of social media, stock control and finances, customer service and sales, marketing, advertising and liaising with all our suppliers.
I am the creative one and Paul is the sensible one. Together we research and source new products and new suppliers. We are constantly consulting each other regarding our day-to-day tasks and all areas are discussed before any decision is made. We are lucky that our skills complement each other.
We have worked together before in a company within the nursery industry so we were well aware of the trials and tribulations this can bring, but having said that we actually work very well together. We have defined roles yet always value that ‘second opinion’ from someone we can trust and respect. However I am always right and Paul always agrees with my decisions.
Running our own business allows flexibility in our day. We can juggle our workload and family life, something we have never been able to do before. It is the reason why I set the company up in the first place.