2000 - Kerri Binnie-Middleton (K TWO Products)
The 2000 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Scotland) was won by Kerri Binnie-Middleton and her business K TWO Products.
Kerri Binnie Middleton came up with the idea for the 1st K TWO product when travelling around Australia in 1997, on a year out. Having had a few years working for other people since graduation from the Glasgow School of Art in Product Design, she decided she wanted to have a go at taking a product to market herself, and identified a gap in the market for a stylish Christmas card holder.
She needed to work in a material which was inexpensive to manufacture and so in the back of their VW Camper van in the Australian outback, Kerri cut out the 1st prototypes of her ‘Christmas Card Tree’ design from scrap card using the nail scissors from her toilet bag!
On return to the UK in 1998, she set up K TWO Products while her boyfriend (now husband) Kieran worked to pay the bills. Kerri set about making her product commercially viable and produced the 1st 5,000 in a factory in Scotland for Christmas ‘98 with all of her savings and a small loan from the Princes Trust. Thankfully the Card Tree’s innovative flat pack design was well received by retailers in the UK and a few months later she had secured a large order from the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in NY. Despite getting off to a good start with the Card Tree, it took K TWO Products a few more years to become really established in the gift market.
These days, K TWO is much more of a team effort, and with several awards under their belt for business development, Investors in People and Gift of the Year, K TWO products are lining the shelves of many of the UK’s Independent, High Street, Mail Order and Web retailers including Lakeland, WH Smith, Waterstones and House of Fraser.
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To find out more about how you could be walking away with the £25,000 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award please go to our Awards page.