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The men’s gift firm working with Adidas and John Lewis

Hugo Middleton and his wife Bella set up gift firm Men's Society in 2012. Picture: Ian Burt

Hugo Middleton and his wife Bella set up gift firm Men's Society in 2012. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A Norfolk-based gifts and grooming firm has grown from a bedroom business to span the globe – caring for beards in Dubai and moustaches in Japan.

Gift firm Men's Society is based at the East Coast Business Park, West Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtGift firm Men's Society is based at the East Coast Business Park, West Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Still run by husband-and-wife founders Hugo and Bella Middleton, Men’s Society supplies gift sets for the discerning gentleman to stores such as Selfridge’s and John Lewis from its King’s Lynn factory.

Those high-profile links have helped the company, which was founded in 2012, already break the million-pound turnover mark and it now wants to consolidate overseas success and collaborate with blue-chip brands.

Mr Middleton said: “We have benefited from the hipster movement, which has been a global trend, and we sell the products all around the world.

“The whole male grooming industry has really expanded so we were in the right place at the right time with the right product.”

Hugo Middleton and his wife Bella set up gift firm Men's Society in 2012. Picture: Ian BurtHugo Middleton and his wife Bella set up gift firm Men's Society in 2012. Picture: Ian Burt

The team has grown to 30 employees, which Mr Middleton believes could grow by up to 10 over the next year, and the company produces all its products in-house at its East Coast Business Park site.

That autonomy will be key to continuing growth, said Mr Middleton, with the ability to be flexible allowing them to create bespoke gifts for companies such as Adidas.

He said: “Making everything ourselves allows us to react to changes in the market and customer requirements very quickly.

“The growth of the business will come from making more and more bespoke products for clients.

Gift firm Men's Society is based at the East Coast Business Park, West Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtGift firm Men's Society is based at the East Coast Business Park, West Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

“We have worked with brands like Adidas to make products for events.”

As well as beard balm and oils for those with facial fuzz, Men’s Society also sells gadget and sneaker cleaning kits as well as festival survival packs and glitter beard kits – with a European music festival another client.

The business, which has a seven-figure turnover, sells around 75% of its products overseas with Japan, Dubai and America among the destinations.

Mr Middleton said the firm had grown about 20% last year and he was hoping to see the same again this year.

While juggling international ambitions, family in the Norfolk area and young children, Mr Middleton said King’s Lynn had been the ideal location.

He added: “My wife and I started the business when we were living in London and we had that moment where we were fed up of living 
in a two bedroom house full of boxes.”


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