Kent couple work together to achieve commercial success
Based in a renovated Old Boiler House near Dover in East Kent, creative gifting business Auntie Mims is run by husband and wife couple Michelle and Peter Lanstone. They were teachers at the same school, Michelle teaching art and Peter teaching music, and both worked in various schools for 15 years before deciding to launch a personalised gifting business together in 2008 with curated online marketplace notonthehighstreet.com.
Michelle was originally working on Auntie Mims part time whilst looking after her youngest children, but this all changed in 2012 when the business really took off! A laser engraving machine which they had originally bought so they could design their own wedding changed everything. Soon they were using it to personalise all of their unique products ranging from dog collars to wooden spoons and coasters. The laser cutter has also allowed them to design a whole range of new gifts including jigsaw keyrings and Easter bunny decorations.
Auntie Mims is a family business, often getting their five children, parents and even their dog, Oakley the Great Dane, involved. They also employ seven staff and have gone from working in their spare room and kitchen to upgrading into a farm unit in 2014, eventually moving to The Old Boiler House in 2015 – enabling them to increase production and reach more customers than ever before.
Since joining notonthehighstreet.com in 2008, Auntie Mims has turned over in excess of 2 million pounds. They also surpassed a huge milestone this year with their 100,000th notonthehighstreet.com customer in December 2016.