Five Minutes With...
Five Minutes With...

Five Minutes With...

Didier Penine,
founder and director of Say It With Champers

Describe your business in one sentence.

Say It WIth Champers is an online corporate gift company that specialises in branded bottles of alcohol, like champagne, mini prosecco and wines. We take the logo of a business and design a label from scratch, which they then use to treat their staff, or to gift to key contacts. We also have a range of themed labels for the general public, covering occasions like anniversaries birthdays, weddings and so on. These can be personalised to make a unique gift.

What inspired you to start your own company?

The reason I started my own company was due to having a sense of dissatisfaction with my working life, regardless of the company I worked for, and regardless of the role I had. There was a constant sense of unhappiness, which I knew was due to me being employed and not having my own business. I had the idea of Say It With Champers some 13 years ago, but hesitated, and fear of failure prevented me from taking it any further. But I finally launched the business, and it’s safe to say I am very pleased that it has worked out.

What's the greatest lesson you've learned about being in business?

The greatest lesson I have learned is to be flexible and prompt with all tasks that are required. When you start as a one-man band, you have to do everything – booking in goods, packaging, marketing – and it’s a great experience and incredibly rewarding. In terms of customer service, I think it’s important to respond to all emails and calls immediately – delay can cost sales; and if it needs doing, why leave it to later when it can be done now?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

To keep at it, and don’t give up. The first few months are tough, with some of them loss-making. When you have bills to pay, the question arises of how long you can carry on. But sometimes that one bit of luck is waiting for you, and once the corner has turned, you don't look back.

How do you stay motivated after a setback?

Setbacks are unfortunate; but at the same time, they’re inevitable. They can range from anything from an order that looked guaranteed but didn't happen, in the early days, to damage to a high-value shipment – or even a high-value shipment being lost. They can be tough to take but, of course, you need to carry on – don't let it get you down and try to make amends with future leads that come in.

Where do you see your company in five years' time?

I would like to have grown to be employing staff on a permanent basis and to be a business that is known to provide a quality product and service. Five years is a long time for any business, but the online world is growing faster than ever before, so fingers crossed things will work out as planned.

Want to tell us about your business?

Didier Penine

“The greatest lesson I have learned is to be flexible and prompt.”

Uk Office

Office address: 85 Great Portland Street, First Floor, London, W1W 7LT

Hours: Mon-Thur, 9:00AM-5:30PM. Fri, 9:00AM-5:00PM

Phone: 020 7046 0257


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