A BUSINESS that started on eBay in a garage has now opened a showroom in Bacup, has a team of five and is selling goods worldwide.
At Whitworth High School Lee Bradshaw was sales director of his Young Enterprise team called Weird and Wonderful and, almost as a premonition, that business sold gifts.
Now the director of Lifestylish.com, based at Park Road Business Centre, Bacup, turns around more than 1,000 orders for gifts and household goods every week and still has time to give his employees their birthday off.
Lee, 38, said: “We have just had our first order from Greenland and have sent items to New Zealand but we have also delivered items to an address on Park Crescent – just around the corner.”
Lifestylish.com began in 2010 and was more recently based at Pippin Bank in Bacup but when the showroom across the road became available, Lee decided the time was right to add a shop to the internet business.
“People like to come and have a look around and handle the goods,” he said. “We sell quirky and unusual items and we support UK based designers.
“We used to send out gift orders with a packet of sweets as a treat and then we started getting people asking to order the sweets so we opened the Sweet Warehouse.
“Christmas and Easter are our busiest times and now we are as busy packaging and distributing sweets as we are gifts.”
Last year’s biggest seller was Nothing. Customers bought a plastic conical globe of nothing for the person who had everything – proof you can sell Nothing for something.
Lee previously worked in marketing and IT so understood the gift market. Even when, together with his wife Julie, he took a year out to tour the world, he was still identifying products he could potentially sell. The couple have two sons Finn, seven, and Todd, five.
The longest day saw Lee working from 4.30am to 9.45pm and during busy periods the business can be open seven days a week.
Lifestylish.com has expanded into Europe by introducing translation to the website and the next markets to be tackled are America and Australia.
“I think we have got solid foundations now and we can keep on growing,” said Lee.