This month, we bring you an interview with Didier Penine, Director of Say it with Champers www.sayitwithchampers.co.uk. We chose this company as our microbusiness of the month as we like their innovative ideas such as personalised champagne labels and mini Prosecco wedding favours. We also appreciate their approach to inclusivity and their understanding of dietary requirements…. yes, they even sell vegan champagne!
Didier tells us about their range of champagne, reveals his personal favourite and shares valuable advice for start-up business. Plus, you can have a laugh about a story where Didier tells us how the company needed to adapt to respond to very unexpected requests for personalised champagne to celebrate divorces.
What is important to consider when choosing Champagne for a Special Event?
For every special event the choices you make help create memories for attendees, and of course the better the choices you make the more your occasion will stand out from the crowd. With Champagne the main choice is whether you want it personalised, or if you want to go for a name that people recognise, there are advantages to both.
Personalised Champagne is great for creating an intimate and personal occasion, if the Champagne you serve your guests at your wedding is themed around yourselves, it will be a head turner and people will appreciate the attention to detail. Choosing a known name is also advantageous in that it helps in giving a prestigious feel to any occasion, and certainly gives an appearance of glitz and glamour.
How does your personalised service work?
My service works in two ways, for the general public I have a large selection of designs for people to choose from, roughly 60 designs spread across approximately 25 occasions such as anniversary, birthday, wedding and so on. The customer will choose the one they like, add their custom text, the order is processed and then shipped and delivered. For businesses we design a bespoke label around the company logo and branding which they will then use as staff rewards or corporate gifts.
Your Range of Different Types of Champagne is Impressive. Which is your personal favourite and why?
My personal favourite is one of the Valentine’s ones. This particular one the design is stunning, it is totally different to anything else I have seen and my designer did a fantastic job with it. Although it is under the Valentine’s category, there would be nothing stopping people using it for an anniversary, birthday, engagement, or any other similar occasion – the thing I like about this design is that it is very elegant and simple, but striking and unique at the same time.
Tell us more about your Champagne Wedding Favours.
Champagne wedding favours that we provide would typically be found under our mini Prosecco range. We have a few wedding themed designs which people will buy as wedding favours. The best idea a customer has had so far for them was to use them as place markers for their guests. Each guest had an individually personalised bottle of mini Prosecco with their name on it, and with a wedding themed design and text relating to the happy couple it served as a great differentiator from other weddings. Little things like this make a difference and show you have put a lot of time and thought into your day while being affordable at the same time.
Would you have any tips of start-up businesses?
Make sure you can go a few months without any pay! For most start ups it takes a while for things to start moving, and the very first few months are the most difficult. Especially the first few months the amount of hours you work to try and get things on track are crazy, and then after all that to make a loss is particularly disappointing, but you need to keep at it and luck will change.
Keep plugging away and every contact you make helps you along the way and as customers start returning you begin to see light at the end of the tunnel. Keep doing the things that work, and ditch the things that don’t – sound obvious but unfortunately there is very much a trial and error aspect to it, certainly with marketing and many options will be a black hole as far as your budget goes. Do as many free ones as you can, and start modestly with the ones that have a financial cost.
Is there any funny story you could share with our readers?
About 3 months after first starting trading I had a very unusual bottle ordered from a customer. They had chosen our birthday design which has a cake, balloons and bunting and a clear party feel to it. Rather than purchase it for a birthday gift, they sent it to their ex-partner with some very interesting messages, I doubt very much you would be allowed to type what they put, but the general theme was that they were much happier without them! I thought this was brilliant, and in fact this was the trigger for me to design my very own ‘divorce’ themed bubbly! The general idea is to send it to someone who has just been through a breakup to cheer them up, having said that we will send anything within reason!