my 1st years
Rebecca Wayman

Personalisation company My 1st Years appoints ex-Moonpig MD as its chairman

My 1st Years, a children’s product personalisation site, has appointed ex-Moonpig managing director Iain Martin as chairman to help boost its next stage of growth.

Martin was part of Moonpig for nearly 10 years, and will help My 1st Years scale its business in the UK as well as the USA. After joining Moonpig in 2006, Martin was hired as commercial director by the company’s founder, Nick Jenkins, from the BBC’s Dragons’ Den.

The business’s turnover grew from £1.8m in 2007 to an excess of £60m by the time he left in 2015. During this time, he was appointed as managing director and presented the company for sale to PhotoBox in 2011 in a £120m deal.

Martin commented: “I was drawn to the business because it has such an excellent product range and a team that really seems to care about its customers.

“Whilst the personalisation technology that has been developed is interesting, a visit to the factory to see the care and attention that the staff put into making the product demonstrated the very essence of the business and brand.”

The company received early backing from Lord David Alliance, co-founder of Coats Viyella and co-owner of N Brown Group, including Jacamo and Simply Be in its catalogue. It has also secured retail partnerships with the likes of John Lewis and Selfridges.

Martin’s position of chairman of My 1st Years was through founding team Daniel Price and Jonny Sitton. Starting the business in 2010, the duo have created a range of personalised products for babies and children, winning over celebrity fans including HRH Prince George and Jessica Simpson’s four-year-old son.

Since becoming a father recently as well, Martin can see the brand “from a customer perspective”, saying: “It’s very difficult to find distinct, high-quality and thoughtful gifts for children. Personalisation of a towel or bathrobe turns an everyday item into something that extra bit special.

“There is a very exciting opportunity for growth and if I can bring some of my experience in scaling all aspects of the business then I’m thrilled to be part of it.”

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