Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Husband and wife who quit their jobs to start up jewellery business celebrating successful first year

Husband and wife who quit their jobs to start up jewellery business celebrating successful first year

It was whilst enjoying a romantic meal at the Derbyshire restaurant which is a favourite of celebrity couple Frank and Christine Lampard that Liam and Kerry Bilson decided to quit their jobs to concentrate on their fledgling jewellery business.

Kerry, from Horsley Woodhouse, had set up Letterbox Love as a side hustle whilst working from home during the pandemic. She found that channelling her talent for writing poems and combining them with cute, affordable bracelets as gifts was a welcome creative release from her busy day job as a recruitment consultant.

Orders from around the globe – one of their biggest customer bases is in the USA – came flooding in, and it was during a visit to Armando’s Italian restaurant in Belper - a favourite haunt of ex-Derby County manager Frank Lampard and his wife Christine – that Kerry and husband Liam decided to quit their jobs to concentrate on the business.

Twelve months later and Letterbox Love is going from strength-to-strength.

Their jewellery is currently stocked in gift shops and garden centres across the UK, plus Bennett’s – the oldest department store in Derby - and they have had enquiries from several well-known High Street stores, too.  And, later this month, Letterbox Love will move into a bigger office, which will be as vibrant and exciting as their brand.

“The last year has been quite the eye-opener for me,” said Liam, who previously worked as a project manager in construction and concentrates on operations and admin for Letterbox Love.

“I have learned so much about small businesses and how they operate. Kerry and I have met some fantastic people over the past 12 months, people who have shared tips on how to run a successful business and general well-wishers who have seen our social media posts. 

“We recently had a visit from a lady who had seen our products on Instagram. She dropped off cake she had purchased from a local café, after seeing that I was back in the office after recovering from Covid. She thought that the cake would cheer me up – it certainly did that!”

It is usually Letterbox Love who are providing the smiles.

To date, they have shipped gifts to the UK, USA, Canada and Australia – and offset their carbon footprint by partnering with Ecologi, meaning that they plant up to 12 trees each month to remove up to 1.2 tonnes of CO2.

They are one of the top sellers on gift website Etsy and, by the end of the year, they are expecting to have turned over a quarter of a million pound.  They now boast more than 14k followers on Instagram, who are regularly treated to entertaining reels on the social media platform from the couple.

“Liam is a reluctant star of our Instagram reels,” said Kerry, “he knew what he was getting into, though when we got married!

“We have shared our start-up story on social media since Day One and our followers do feel like friends, now. I feel like they have been a big part of our journey and I think that people can relate to us on social media because they can see the faces behind the business.

“Christmas was absolutely huge for us and we’re expecting 2022 to be even busier. The pandemic has made us all that little but kinder and I think that we’re wanting to show we care even more. One of the first bracelets we created was for NHS keyworkers, to show appreciation for their efforts during Covid and it’s still popular today.

“We have invested all of our profits so far back into the business and are excited to move into our new office. It will be three times the size of our current one and have fluorescent lighting, wall art and will compliment our brand.

“There are new collections planned, too, for 2022 and we’re keen to work with other small businesses. Colleague Box, the Derby gift company set up by another husband and wife, Adam and Natalie Bamford, will be on hand to help with order fulfilment.”

One of Letterbox Love’s most popular collections is their ‘Pick Me Up’ gifts, which includes a the You Got This bracelet; a four-leaf clover charm set with a cubic zirconia gem.  It is wrapped around a card featuring a poem that reads “believe in yourself and all you can be. Good things await you, just wait and see.”

Kerry said:

“All the poems are inspired, and mental wellbeing is so important right now; our ‘Worry Angel’ – a rose gold -coloured bracelet featuring a tiny heart – is a best-seller.

“We recently donated £1 from the sale of every order placed to mental health charity Mind, who do a great job. Everyone knows someone who has struggled with their mental wellbeing, particularly during the pandemic, and it feels good to be able to support this brilliant charity.”

Letterbox Love offer free UK shipping and gift wrapping, plus 15% off when you purchase two or more items.  To find out more, visit www. or connect on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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