Michelle Henriksen, who has owned an online gift company since 2014, will launch the new venture on Saturday (20 August), when she opens ‘Personalised Gifts Ormskirk’ to business in the town’s centre.
The shop will sell a variety of gifts hand-made or hand-printed by Henriksen, such as jewellery, mugs, t-shirts, aprons, and metal signs. Henriksen expects the shop to turn over £70,000 in the shop’s first year.
“It’s half workshop, half display,” Henriksen said of the new shop, the 24sqm area of which is divided neatly into two 4x3m sections.
“I think we’ve worked it out so that we can display each product in a really good way.”
Henriksen will do all her printing in the workshop, having moved her stable of printers from the garden shed where she had printed products for her online store.
Henriksen’s husband Peter Watson, a software engineer with a background in printing, passed the machines on to Henriksen years ago when she was setting up the business, and he was closing down an eBay store of his own.
Now, Watson said however, he is “just the man who fixes things when they break.”
The bulk of the shop’s print demand is split almost exactly in two, between sublimation print and white toner for direct-to-garment (DTG) use.
Henriksen uses an Oki Pro942WT white toner printer, alongside a Graftech CE6000-60 Plus cutter and Adkins Beta Maxi swing-away heat press for DTG applications.
For orders that require sublimation, she uses a Sawgrass SG400 sublimation printer.
The move to the high street has been a long time coming for Henriksen, who has lived in the area with Watson for 20 years, and whose children have grown up there.
“We’ve been looking a long time for premises. When this place came along, it felt right.”
She added that while personalisation has been a growing area of demand for consumers, she believes in-person shops are becoming more popular again after the pandemic.
She said: “When ordering gifts from huge retailers online, they often come with heaps of plastic packaging and the impact of constant deliveries isn’t exactly great for the environment - which I think people are starting to realise.
“But aside from that obvious point, people really just want to purchase items and gifts without the hassle of returns, incorrect deliveries and long wait times.”