Product Guru Supplier Focus | Into the World of Bertie Girl
At Product Guru we're proud to support a thriving community of independent, challenger brands. Brands across all FMCG, gift, home and specialty categories list products on our online platform and we love to share the stories behind them.
So, we talked to Roberta who told us all about her business Bertie Girl.
Tell us a bit about your company, its background and your products?
At Bertie Girl we've been covering things in Scotland's iconic Harris tweed since 2008. Based in the Angus Glens we produce "fabulously fun Harris tweed gifts for her, him and the dog!"
We pride ourselves in innovative, quirky themes in our designs and are delighted to be an exponent of the handmade in Scotland brand. We LOVE bringing cheerful, humorous handmade products to the marketplace.
Our focus is on producing small Harris tweed gifts, ensuring our customer can own a little bit of that provenance without the high cost. Within that range we have small accessories including coin purses, glasses cases, keyrings, covered notebooks and our inimitable doggy bag dispensers - which top the bill as our best seller.
Bertie Girl evolved organically as all good things do. After a degree in textiles I was driven to find a way to bring UK handmade products to a wider market.
Our core values are to ethically source and promote low impact, environmentally friendly, local production. We are now a small team of people who try hard to ensure that you receive a product that is handmade, unique and profoundly different to others in the market place.
How many people work for the business and who do you sell to?
We are able to provide work for a few local ladies who help with production in our studio. As you can imagine there is a lot of hand finishing involved too. Sewing buttons, labelling, boxing and packing can all be completed at home. This way of working suits some of our ladies, as transport to our studio can be an issue.
Our products are pretty varied, so fit with many different types of business. The majority of our suppliers are involved in the gift industry, this includes independent gift shops, department stores, garden centres, visitor centres, independent gift shops, dog friendly cafés and high end pet shops.
Like other UK makers we are now seeing more and more of our suppliers turning to online selling. During lockdown we made a deliberate effort to collate images of all our products so that we could offer this to our suppliers.
Is there a specific product you are particularly proud of and why?
Yes! Of course! I don't have to think twice about that - it's our Harris tweed doggy poo bag dispenser! They are gift packaged and available in four different phrases, the most popular being "Sh*t happens.. just be prepared", followed by "Auch Aye The Poo", "Stop messin' about" and "Ka-Poo".
All of the dogs featured on the packaging are part of our lives. Our stripey Lurcher is "Sherlock Bones" on the packaging of "Stop messin' about" and our Border Terrier features on "Ka-Poo". "Mac Doug" on "Auch Aye the Poo" is a homage to many old Labrador chums and Charlie my Pointer is forever remembered as Lady Muck on "Sh*t happens".
I love how completely unique this product is. It's an irresistible pick up product - many of our suppliers comment it's their best selling product. Undoubtedly, I'm very biased, but I'm not surprised why it sells so well!
What do you most enjoy about running your business?
There is a great pride in creating something, working hard at it and never giving up. I think that is something that all small business owners have in common.
What do you enjoy doing during your spare time?
Eating chocolate and drinking wine.... I can even eat chocolate while working, but limit the wine to one or two glasses :)
What do you think of the Product Guru platform?
We are sure that our products are what UK customers want to buy. Getting our products in front of more potential buyers without the expenditure of a trade show certainly has its merits.
We are been thrilled to be part of Product Guru, as it's the right fit for us. Supporting UK makers and our UK economy just got easier - thank you Product Guru team!
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