Where did the idea for Buddy Burst come from?
Jamie: The idea for Buddy Burst came in 2015 when I was working in marketing and noticed how much waste there was in promotional marketing and the industry at large. This is when I also noticed the lack of eco-friendly products in the UK promotions market, and set out to pave the way for change. Ultimately, I was asking whether I could influence marketeers and event managers to make their practices more environmentally friendly…
Coming from a family of self-employed people and entrepreneurs, I always had it in me to create my own business. My father had created Seedsticks®, which, 30 years later, remains the hero product of the Grayson Group; the umbrella company which combines my father’s (Sow Easy) and my own venture (BuddyBurst).
The Seedsticks idea was patented by my father back in 1988 – a pack containing what looks just like a match book, and instead contains a seed. For a company founded in the 80s, this was way ahead of its time in terms of sustainability. And once Sow Easy joined forces with Buddy Burst in 2018, we went from selling 500,000 to 2 million products. Coming together was a great decision.
I’m really proud that we are a company that is sustainable at its core. Whether that is using solar power in our factories, or working with sustainable partners in their marketing processes. Our key value is a hope for a greener tomorrow, and a commitment to sustainable brand building. We’re on a mission to provide eco-friendly promotional products and printed seeds so that brand building doesn’t harm the environment.
How has the past year been for Buddy Burst?
Jamie: As you can imagine, COVID-19 hit the promotional marketing industry hard. With the whole of the sector and its events being cancelled, and 35% of our business being lost, it has been really challenging. However, like a lot of other companies, we have had time to think about the direction we want to take and I think sustainable living has come to forefront for a lot of people. Whether that’s eating more cleanly, or planting their own vegetables: people have really come into their own in the past year.
From this shift, we want to revolutionise the promotional industry and move away from the throwaway culture. I think this will really resonate with people and single-use materials are hopefully becoming a thing of the past!
Where do you see the company progressing?
Jamie: We’d like to have a more international presence and grow into bigger markets. It would be amazing to break into the US market, where promotional products are huge. We have already seen the repercussions of Brexit and the challenges of exports and imports, but I am excited to see how we can grow Buddy Burst.
I am also currently working on a B2C ‘Plantisan’ offering – with exact details to come – so watch the space!