Visionary North-West company, A Year of Dates, has been in partnership with Smile for a number of years, raising more than £2,500 to help families in Cheshire affected by perinatal mental health challenges. Donations to the charity are made through sales of the company’s popular New Parent Date Boxes.
We set up a date with Founder of this thriving family business, Kate Greenhalgh (see what we did there) to ask her to share a little bit about the company and the ongoing partnership with Smile.
- So, Kate, tell us what prompted A Year of Dates to partner with Smile in the first place?
We were looking for a local charity that we could make an impact with, and get to know. I came across Smile from a MEN article and contacted the team to make the suggestion. I’m very glad I did!
- Can you say more about your New Parent Date Box and the thinking behind that?
As parents ourselves we know how hard it can be to make time for yourselves/relationships as the focus (and rightly so) is on the new addition to the family, but this box acts as a reminder that you are also a couple and need time for you too. We have a weekly date box but this felt too much for new parents, so this box contains 26 ideas – one a fortnight, or however often they want to open an envelope – it has to work for the couple.
- As a family business is it important for you to have a charity partner?
It’s very important, we like to be able to give back and we like to support charities that are local(Ish) to us or focused on something that is close to our hearts.
- Tell us more about how your business has grown in the past few years?
The last two years have been crazy! John (my partner) quit his full-time job to work with me and since then it’s hardly recognisable. We’ve moved out of the house, taken on staff, added personalisation and bought in new businesses to complement the range. It is hard work, we don’t really stop – but we’re doing it on our terms and for us, so it makes the long hours worthwhile.
- Why do you think the connections/special moments created through your products is so important (esp given the last year)?
We are all so busy so it is easy to let things slip. Kids, work and houses can’t slip that much so relationships are at the bottom of the list. It isn’t hard to date more, it’s often the ideas that are missing so that’s where we can help.
- Do you have any new products in the pipeline?
Not so much new products – although there will always be some! But we recently took on a new business called Seventeen Minutes – apparently the average time a mum gets to herself in a day – which specialises in letterbox gifts containing items sourced from independent small businesses. We’re excited to see where that takes us.
Smile is so grateful for its partnership with A Year of Dates, which is based on shared values, and really appreciates the company’s forward-thinking approach to growing a business while giving back to the local community in the process.
For more information visit www.ayearofdates.co.uk