Gifts Today magazine

The Little Dog turns 20

The Derby-based card and gift company founded by artist Anna Danielle and her brothers Gavin and Nathan Smith will be celebrating its 20th birthday in 2018

From its humble origins of one girl and her dog working from the spare room, Anna had no idea her creations would form the bedrock of a business that now employs a talented team of eleven and sees her distinctive designs appearing in stores the length and breadth of the country.

Having enjoyed some highs, many lows and quite a lot of plain old everyday slog, the working ethos of The Little Dog Laughed remains the same today as it did all those moons ago:

'To create cards and gifts that bring a smile to your day, and to do this in an honest, reliable, friendly way, never putting profit above quality and fairness.'

The sibling trio's working relationship is very special, with each of them bringing an essential talent to the mix. Brothers Gavin and Nathan both started their working lives in building and construction as site managers and it was these transferable skills that took Anna's sole trader efforts to the next level. Funny front man and older brother Gavin took over the running of the business while practical and logical younger brother Nathan is the reason every sales promise becomes a reality.

The Little Dog is currently home to three original brands created solely by the talented Anna. Alongside her dog and cat collections sits Rufus Rabbit, a beautifully packaged mummy and baby gift range which is now six years old. Rufus was delighted to be honoured with a Gift of the Year 2017 award in the nursery category, even pipping the legendary Peter Rabbit to the top spot!

The company’s most recent new brand is Douglas The Boy Wonder, who will celebrate his milestone first birthday at Spring Fair. The charming Douglas is a contemporary gift and accessories collection based around an antique toy terrier who is missing his wheels but not his zest for life and new adventures.

When asked about the Little Dog's secret to success Anna replied: 'I think being genuine in everything we do has played a large part in our longevity. From the love for the animals I draw, to the pride the whole team takes in a job well done. The Little Dog Laughed has a fan club that is as loyal as our subject matter. People wouldn't have continued to buy our products or embraced new collections if our passion for quality, design and animals wasn't genuine.'

Although 20 years can be clearly seen and heard in the deep laughter lines, extra belt notches and groans when getting up out of a chair, the Little Dog is still full of bounce when it comes to the future. There is an exciting collaboration with the RSPCA and their Good Sign collection planned for 2018. Douglas The Boy Wonder is cooking up something tasty in the kitchenware category and Rufus Rabbit plans to make his name synonymous with adorable and thoughtful with new clothing and gift lines being launched throughout this year.

Gavin declared 'We never take anything for granted and there is still a great deal to achieve. This 20th anniversary is a time to reflect on where we have been and where we want to go. It is also a chance to say a heartfelt thank you to all those who have chosen us as one of their suppliers over the years. Fingers crossed we'll be around to tempt you with new collections and original ideas for many more to come!'

You can see the full collection from The Little Dog Laughed at Spring Fair Hall 3-3A

Stand: S10 or visit the website for more information: https://www.thelittledog.co.uk/


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