We are absolutely delighted to announce another award for Reza Wood Designs. After a tough few years throughout this pandemic, we are so happy to have been selected by Heathrow Airport as one of 10 businesses selected across the UK to be a Global Britain Business Champion.
This award has come about as a result of our exporting success. Several years ago we won our first exporting award, Heathrow Airport's World of Opportunity exporting programme and grant to enable us to take our business to the next level and make our exporting plans a reality.
Winning that award generated a lot of interest in our business and we welcomed several high profile visitors and had some media coverage too.
Since then we've continued to grow the exporting side of our business and now have now exported to around 25 different countries. We're especially popular in North America and Germany where we also have a stockist.
Our exporting success is largely a result of ecommerce, we have an Etsy shop, and our persistence in trying to enter new markets. Through exporting we hope to share a little bit of the wonder of Scotland with others and love to think of our handmade creations being enjoyed by our customers all over the world, many of whom have Scottish connections.
You can find out more about the award on Heathrow Airport's Global Britain page. In addition, The Scotsman newspaper has also run an article about us today.
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers, wherever you may be, without you we simply wouldn't exist so thank you for your support.
We'd also like to thank all our family, friends, other small business owners, Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International, Hisashi at FSB, all our stockists, Tom Barr for some amazing photos of Ali in action and everyone who's helped us along the way. Your help and assistance is much appreciated!
Thanks also to Heathrow Airport for all the support and encouragement we've received. It is truly valuable to small businesses like ours.
We are looking forward to even more success in the future!
2019 Highlights at Reza Wood Designs
Well, what a year 2019 has been at Reza Wood Designs. Quite a special year for us, the 5th year of our wee whisky barrel gift and furniture business and we've come a long way since we started up in the spring of 2014.
This is a wee collection of just some of our favourite photos of 2019, it has been a very interesting year with some of our highlights including a visit from our MP, creating business awards for the council and finding ourselves in a Glasgow leaflet. Thanks for sharing the journey with us, your support means so much. There's lots more to look forward to in 2020 and we have several new initiatives in the pipeline. We can't wait to see what the next decade brings.
Our MP visits Reza Wood Designs
Jo Swinson, our local MP took time out to visit our workshop early in the year. Jo enjoyed seeing how our whisky barrel gifts are recycled from discarded oak scotch whisky barrels. In this photo, she's admiring some of our finished designs.
Scottish Parliament Reception for Migrant Entrepreneurs
Ali took part in some research into Scotland's migrant entrepreneurs and their contribution to the Scottish economy. The report, "Starting Over, migrant entrepreneurship in Scotland" was launched at a special reception at the Scottish Parliament where Ali and other migrant entrepreneurs met several ministers. The report found that immigrant led SMEs generate £13 billion for the Scottish economy and that 1 in 10 SMEs are immigrant led. Quite a significant achievement.
Creating the Business awards for East Dunbartonshire Council
We're delighted to have created this year's business awards for East Dunbartonshire Council. From the initial design right through to the engraving of the winners details, we loved every minute of this project. We are pretty good at keeping secrets, which came in very handy at the awards dinner where we met all the potential winners! We've never felt prouder, watching so many local businesses be presented with one of our whisky barrel awards which are now proudly displayed in businesses throughout East Dunbartonshire. We ourselves were finalists in the Eco-Friendly category - a fantastic achievement for us given the very tough competition.
New products for 2019
We're always coming up with new designs at Reza Wood Designs for our customers. In 2019 we've expanded our furniture range with several new eco-friendly tables in a variety of styles now available. In the photo you can see our first hallway table with hairpin legs, the table top is made entirely from recycled oak whisky barrels. We've also expanded our gift range by adding to our very popular storage solutions with this mini bedside organiser, made from oak Scotch whisky barrels. There will be no more excuses for disorganisation with one of these! Every product we make is individually made in our workshop in Scotland by Ali Fakourpoor, the man who can! We also work to commission, so give us a challenge, we love it.
We're in the leaflet-Glasgow things to do
A nice surprise for us this year, was finding a photo of our whisky flight trays in the Glasgow things to do leaflet. We do a lot of work with our local distillery, The Clydeside, and have created whisky flight trays for their tours. This tray is for their whisky and chocolate tour, which we can highly recommend.
Whisky Barrel Gifts from Scotland to the world
We're really grateful to Heathrow Airport for handling some of our exports and for including us in their 12 Days of Exports Christmas campaign. We love that our creations go all over the world and we've exported to 11 different countries in 2019.
2020's fast approaching, thank you for your support
Well that's it from us for 2019, the end of our 5th year in business but there's lots more to look forward to in 2020. We'd like to thank all our customers for buying from us, we pride ourselves on excellent customer service and quality eco-friendly gifts and furniture and we can't thank you enough for buying one of our creations. We look forward to working with you again in 2020. You can keep in touch by signing up for our newsletter.
We'd also like to thank all those who support and advise us, Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise, Jenifer's dad, friends and family, fellow small business owners and the Federation of Small Businesses. Your advice, introductions and support are invaluable, thank you all so very much.
Have a wonderful new year and all the very best for 2020.
With our very best wishes
Jenifer and Ali