Rinkit is headed by Richard Goss, Rob Lowe and Elliot Millais, who have been friends since they met at college in Horsham in 2002. As well as working together, the guys have lived, partied, and holidayed together. Now that's what we call a team! So that you know who you're dealing with, here's where you can learn a bit about each of them:
2008: Richard founded Sussex Supplies to sell cocktail shakers and accessories that were dispatched from his conservatory in Horsham. Stock sold out in a month so he left his job at Learning Tree International to focus on Sussex Supplies full-time. He quickly had to exchange his sports car for an estate car to cope with the frequent trips to the post office. After a few months Rob, was drafted in to help with advertising and pricing strategy.
2009: Moments after Sussex Supplies opened its Amazon.co.uk account, we sold our first product – a flour dredger. We created the first "cocktail shaker set" on Amazon, which was an immediate success. We employed our first staff member, Sarah, to help fulfil Christmas orders. We rented offices in Dunsfold Park, Surrey, where we shared space with a classic car company and were regularly distracted by the testing of Apache helicopters at the Top Gear test track next door. After finishing university, Rob joined Sussex Supplies full-time, initially working in the small, dark, damp cellar of their rented farmhouse, Kingswood House in Findon, Sussex.
2010: Christmas was so busy that we had to draft in friends, family and temporary staff to help. We hired full-timers Katie and Nicola to assist with customer services and order fulfilment, and installed a professional telephone system and new dual-screen computers. By now, we were stocking just over 5000 products, and delivering around 75,000 orders a year. We'd already outgrown nearly 1000 ft.² of new packing and storage rooms, so we moved to a 3,100ft.² warehouse at Lineside Industrial Estate in Littlehampton. We accepted our first pallets of crockery and glassware from Utopia Tableware. But when our first furniture delivery arrived from Resol in Spain, we had to unload 200 sun loungers by hand, because we didn't yet have any forklifts!
2011: We opened our first retail outlet, the Arundel Cookshop, just in time for the Christmas rush. We added tools and car accessories to the range, and became the master online distributor for Resol furniture in the UK. New members of the team this year included warehouse assistants Luke, Kerry, Jack and Charlie, plus Amy and Rosie in customer services. Oh, and our good friend Elliot joined us, to focus on business development. We'd outgrown our first warehouse in just five months so we moved to our current warehouse down the road, with 12,500 ft.² to fill with stock. Our largest yet import delivery arrived – four articulated lorries, each full of furniture. Our Rink Drink brand was accepted as a registered trademark for cocktail equipment, and Sussex Supplies was incorporated as Rinkit Ltd. Turnover topped £1.1 million – the most so far.
2012: We celebrated our best Christmas yet, peaking at over 3,000 orders in one day – that's one every 40 seconds. As well as selling to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Canada, we now trade in the USA as Rinkit Inc. We fitted extra racking in the warehouse to create space for 684 more pallets, and employed new warehouse assistants, Lucy and Ollie. We acquired a small Amazon business called Nicola Spring, so we can now offer giftware and homeware. We proudly supplied the London Olympics with two containers full of Resol tables and chairs, launched Harbour Housewares, and became the exclusive Amazon partner for Parlane International, with a range of over 1000 items. The Intellectual Property Office accepted our own brands as registered trademarks including: Tiny Dining, Harbour Housewares, Argon Tableware and Bosley Pet Care. Turnover was an impressive £1.9 million.
2013: We spent a lot of time developing Rinkit.com so you can now buy direct from us online. We added our own brands, Argon Tableware, Harbour Housewares and Rink Drink glassware to the range, and Windhorse Trading chose us as their exclusive Amazon partner. Our warehouse is now crammed with stock. We welcomed Jack S and Luke M as warehouse assistants to help us cope. Turnover reached £2.8 million, making this a record financial year. Woohoo!
2014: Rinkit focused on developing our own brands and introducing new items to our ever expanding range. We introduced great new products such as folding tables, wine racks, coloured hot water bottles, champagne saucers, sofa beds and bathroom scales. To help with the increase in stock and workload we welcomed two new warehouse assistants; Paul and Josh. Rinkit also welcomed another Amy to the office to assist with purchasing. 2014 was a record year once again with turnover topping £3.8 million and 5700 orders dispatched in one (very tough) working day!
2015: In 2015 Rinkit's buying department pushed ahead developing each of our own brand ranges. Furthermore the 'Nicola Spring' giftware range was born in (aptly) the Spring bringing with it a selection of driftwood frames. Immediately the range was a success growing to offer over 100 lines by the end of the year. Lots of exciting new products were imported ranging from photo frame to copper mugs to traditional deck chairs! The end of 2015 came about in a rush with a peak at Christmas of one order every 17 seconds for an entire day. Turnover almost reached £5 million and with lots of new summer products already in the pipeline 2016 looks all set to be even busier!