LITERALLY FROM THE KITCHEN TABLE...

...A BUSINESS WAS BORN


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THE FORMATIVE YEARS

At my family home in Scotland, you could find me laying the table. Mum cooked endless meals for our large family, usually with additions of cousins and friends. It was my job to lay the table for the many mouths to feed. It was the basic knives and forks, but sometimes, as I grew older, I went more in for more elaborate spreads (now, in the world of Instagram, called a tablescape!), especially for Christmas day. I also filled the house with flower arrangements, picked from the garden. Mum is a keen gardener. All the veg were grown by Dad and we regularly ate green fly as standard fodder!

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A FEMALE FOUNDED BUSINESS

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I had a dream to one day run my own company, although I thought I would be a florist. As a younger child you would also find me making candles; pressing flowers; making all my own clothes; playing outdoors on the farm, skiing and sailing.



1980s

UNIVERSITY TABLES


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At University, I would annually make the food and lay the table for my Uni mates to celebrate jointly my December birthday and Christmas, around a table squeezed into some chilly, damp room, either in halls of residence or our student digs. Looking back, I imagine the food was quite basic as our kitchens were so primitive.

Maybe we made up for it with cheap wine!



1990s

HOSTING AT HOME


In my first home, I could invite people over. We often had dinner, with a theme table and importantly layering in crazy game to make the evening last longer and to add an all important competitive angle. This was a fun, colourful contrast to my corporate job selling computers for IBM.

I enjoyed the creativity of hosting, setting a table and I noticed that, when layered in with things that go pop, bang and sparkle, it got the table talking! I noticed the table was more about shared laughter and shared experiences and avoided the ‘in-talk’ often found at a dinner party.

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1998-99

LIFE AT LIBERTY’S


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A big birthday on the horizon – time for a life change – ditch the corporate career and the company car. Go for it… I resigned after some 15 years in the computer industry with “Big Blue”.

I filled the void of the old 9-5 role with planning and posting out questionnaires to patient friends and family on their buying habits. I also decided to get grass roots shop floor experience in the stationery department of Liberty’s of London. As we all know working on the shop floor makes a long tough day, but strangely, I found the handling of money the most stressful. It was so easy to mistake the colour of notes and there was always a worry of the till not adding up at the end of the day.



2000

MILLENIUM PARTIES


A new millennium brought gatherings into the spotlight.

Retailers wanted products for the world’s biggest celebration.

I noticed a gap in the market of a lack of nice products to celebrate the momentous occasion.

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A HAPPY 2020 STORY


THE BUSINESS THAT TALKS TO OUR TIME: TIME AT HOME


2020

POSITIVE AND PROFITABLE


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A year of Covid and everyone is thrown into their homes. What could have been a bleak year, with the high street closed, has been a positive year for Talking Tables.



WHY?




GATHER. TOGETHER. SMILE.


Some twenty years later, we now have 50 staff, offices in 3 countries, and close to £20 million revenue. A sustainable business has been built!

Our products are on shelves in stores ranging from John Lewis, Oliver Bonas, Selfridges, Liberty to Amazon and Tesco.

Our products can be found in 60 countries globally.

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TODAY

WHERE ARE WE TODAY?


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A Happy Christmas Story.

Clearly this Christmas is very uncertain. None of us know who we shall see, when or where. But we do know, we shall have more time at home, with fewer people “Together at Home”.

This remains our heartland and where all our products sit.

You will find us sitting at a table – sometimes tablescaped – talking, having fun. Eating, playing games – laughing, sharing time with whoever we can be with. Creating memories.



BEYOND 2020

SUSTAINABILITY


  • We continue to invest in sustainability.
  • We have brought the world’s first recyclable paper party cup to market.
  • We have eliminated plastic from packaging.
  • We have home compostable and recyclable disposable products.

  • We are migrating some options to textiles for those who like a more lasting solution.
  • We continue to develop and innovate, bringing people together.
  • Gather. Together. Smile.
Gather Together Smile


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