Little bear helps Bury-based business make big strides

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Little bear helps Bury-based business make big strides

Independent greetings card publisher K2 Greetings Ltd has secured a funding boost from The Royal Bank of Scotland to help support the development of a new range of products.

K2 will use the funding to help produce and launch a range of gifts and collectable products from its Party Paws brand, which feature Bamboo the Bear, a panda who is looking for a new home after losing his natural habitat.

The Party Paws collections was K2's best selling range during 2010, accounting for more than 10% of the company's sales. The popularity of this range and feedback from retailers prompted K2's founders Katie Pennington and Kurt Abbot to launch their new range of social expression gifts.

Cousins Katie and Kurt established K2 in 2003 in a small room behind a newsagent's shop in Bury. Since then the business has grown into one of the UK's largest independent greeting card publishers, with a turnover of more than £2m.

K2, which employs 25 staff, supplies its cards to more than 1,000 customers throughout the UK including independent retailers, newsagents and national retailers. A new company – K2 Gift Co Ltd, has been formed to develop the collectible range and is targeting a £1m turnover in its first year of trading.

Kurt Abbott, Managing Director of K2 Greetings Cards, said: "Party Paws continues to be our most successful range and we believe there is a real opportunity to create a new, vibrant collection of gifts for every occasion based upon this brand. The feedback we have received from retailers has been very encouraging and we look forward to introducing the range during the course of this year."

RBS provided an £85K loan and £250k invoice discount line. Andrew Matley, Senior Relationship Manager, said: "In less than 10 years Kurt and Katie have built a successful business in a very competitive market sector. They impressed us with their future plans for K2 and we are very pleased to provide financial support for their plans."

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