The creator of the successful Elf toy has launched a new marketing venture in Durham.
Sarah Greenwell, who created the Elf for Christmas toy five years ago while on maternity leave, has started Stick Marketing with fellow director Bev Walton.
The phenomenal success of the Elf product has seen the popular figure go from prototypes on her kitchen table to being stocked in the likes of Selfridges, John Lewis and Waterstones.
With global sales of her ever-growing range of Christmas elf toys now topping the 50,000 mark, you would think Sarah would be content to enjoy a quiet few months until the build-up to another manic Christmas season.
But instead, the mum-of-two has decided to go headfirst into a new venture, with the launch of Stick Marketing.
Based in Durham City, Sarah and fellow director Bev have already secured a number of ongoing clients, despite only officially launching the marketing agency two weeks ago.
Sarah, 37, who lives in Durham with husband Ian and their children Holly, seven, and Finley, five, has had a successful career in marketing, initially as an in-house marketing manager before going on to launch her own agency.
She said: “I founded my first marketing agency, Glow Creative, in Durham back in 2007. I built that up over 10 years into something I was really proud of.
“Then, almost as a sideline, I launched Elf for Christmas in 2005. It was an instant hit. We sold 3,000 units in 10 weeks – parents and children alike just loved the brand. The following year was even more amazing – we launched our Elf for Christmas Advent Letters, which were featured on This Morning, and sales just went through the roof.
“With 15 years’ experience of helping other companies thrive through creative marketing, I knew the Elf brand had legs, so I decided to sell Glow Creative and throw all my energy into building up the Elf business.”
That was three years ago and, since then, Elf for Christmas has gone from strength to strength, expanding its range to include a host of different elves, personalised letters, books, cards, pyjamas, an elf door and more.
The Elf has grown not just in the UK but become a global hit with sales across Europe, Australia, South Africa and the United States.
Sarah added: “The last few years have been incredibly busy, but the growth in the business has meant we’ve had to put more systems in place to deal with things like managing the supply chain, order processing and despatching etc.
“That’s given me more freedom to concentrate on the creative side of the business, doing things I love, like product development and creative marketing. And it also means I have the freedom to help other businesses thrive again.
“I’ve learned so much over the last decade, I’d love to be able to apply it to other businesses to help them succeed too.
“Bev has worked with me for five years now, and we know our individual strengths and skills and we know they combine so well. We’re both really excited to get going with it.”