Dad’s Road to Surprise Shirts
The pandemic in 2020 affected us as a family, as it did so many others. I was placed on furlough for months and became a ‘house-husband’ to our three children, as Kellie works for a school, so was a key-worker. I learnt many things during this time – not least of which was that full-time childcare is not as easy as I’d imagined!
Louis had a paper round and so while he was attending school (doing A-Levels), was up doing his paper round each morning. He wasn’t quite so keen on the early mornings when he didn’t really have to get up, so I took over a few mornings a week – to get some exercise and let him have a lie in every now and then.
In August, Louis mentioned surprise football shirt boxes and that he thought people would like the idea of receiving a surprise shirt. He and his mum bought three shirts, with his birthday money. His first customer was one of his friends from school. We weren’t sure how people would react and were really nervous when we sent out our first few shirts.
He’s a determined lad, but when he mentioned his idea to his Business Studies A’ Level teacher, the response he got (not sure this was an idea that would work, it wouldn’t be scale-able) made him want to succeed even more. (We’ve not told him yet how we are doing…)
Shortly after this, I was made redundant, which after a long furlough period, was pretty rubbish. However, it did mean that I had time to spend with Louis, helping to source shirts, pack boxes and grow his business.
Eight months later, we’ve learned a lot along the way and have now supplied shirts to 30 countries around the world! Surprise Shirts has moved into our own offices (much to Kellie’s delight – she can have the lounge back!). We’ve had to take on extra staff, so Uncle Martyn joined us this year and Louis’ grandad is helping source kits and research teams. Grace, Louis' girlfriend, is always providing creative inspiration and is our very own Queen of Instagram.
We source shirts directly from all over the globe and genuinely only buy shirts we love ourselves. We’re huge football fans and spending every day talking football is like a dream come true. We pride ourselves on our service and are so thankful to everyone who has trusted us and bought a surprise shirt box.
Please check out our website and social media – we’d love to hear from you!