About David Hicks
Today, gift entrepreneur David Hicks is a main stay within the greeting card and gift industry. Indeed his cards are practically household products without him having become the household name behind them. There is a significant possibility that you have bought one of his cards and if not, one has been bought for you – such is the prominence of the Really Good brand within the British gift market.
A company which started with a £200 investment and has blossomed into a £4million pound business selling to over 30 countries globally. Not bad for a business which his bank manager refused to support.
“It was 1987 and at that time you could apply for an Enterprise Allowance, a government scheme that gave you £40 a week for a few months to get a business off the ground. So I did and that’s how I launched the business. Dinner was usually a baked potato and baked beans and I stayed in almost all the time, watching TV and packing cards!” Said David.
In the 90s, when the company was hit by the demise of the Athena stores, The Really Good Card Company expanded into gifts, as reflected in the shortening of its name to Really Good. By this time the company had established itself as a leading supplier of fun and humorous cards and gifts, always offering something a little different from everyone else. Full of ideas which fell outside of the brand values they had become known for, in 1997 David launched Soul, a much more design-led, contemporary giftware range. Soul also flourished, and today the brands are responsible for producing many of the gift sector’s best selling products – Really Good’s ‘Man Tin’ having sold more than 600,000 units globally.
Today, thanks to a natural gift for predicting the markings of a hit product and three decades of experience, David is a long way from nightly baked potatoes. His brands Really Good and Soul will celebrate thirty and twenty years in business respectively.
Recently honoured for his contribution to the retail gift sector at The Greats gift retailer awards, the entrepreneur was praised for his ‘maverick approach, innate nous for product and understanding of consumer taste and the pulse of the high street.’ A keen photographer, travel is key to the inspiration behind both new designs and product ideas. A trip to Okinawa and meal eaten in a particularly textured bowl, sparking the idea for a need to address the feel of his products.
Passionate about supporting and enabling aspiring designers to break into the gift sector, 2018 will see David launch a search for unpublished design talent who will gain the opportunity to have their work published and taken to market;
“There’s a large pool of young talent that either we can work with, or I can help develop their own business if they want to go in that direction. I’m looking forward to meeting the design talent I have no question that we will discover!”