Starting with just 30 products, Will Holsten launched The Ideal Sunday from the living room of the London flat he shared with his partner, Vicky. Although the first customers were family and friends, it didn’t take long for the first order from an unknown customer to roll in.
Will credits this very moment as one of the best he’s had and says he’ll never forget it. “Packaging that tea strainer and comb, there was a cautious sense of pride and optimism!”
Just a few weeks later Covid 19 hit and the uncertainty of everything, let alone building a business, was a definite low point. But Will kept going, fuelled by reports and stories showing the world was healing while we’d all slowed down to a halt. “It was a great reminder of the difference we can make by doing a little bit more to help our planet.”
As lockdown struck, Will and Vic packed essentials and all the stock they had and moved out of London. After three months when Lockdown was finally lifted it was time to move back to London but re-packing the car was a very different story. The easily moved stock from April now barely fit. Without space for even one more coffee cup, it was suddenly clear that The Ideal Sunday had not just survived, it had thrived.
Reflecting on their last 12 months, they said “There’s no doubt, our first year has been a rollercoaster! More challenging and more rewarding than we could’ve imagined. It’s certainly not been without its sleepless nights, lots of deep breaths and a whole heap of asking ‘Are we really doing this?’ It’s also been filled with exploration, a pretty steep learning curve and a happy dance every time an order comes in.”
They quickly recognised that using their tiny living room as a stock room and office for two people wasn’t going to work anymore. They were on the move again and after a few weeks of sleeping in the living room while the bedroom became HQ, they moved into a slightly bigger flat, with a dedicated room for stock and office space. “This felt like a HUGE step… Living. The. Dream!”
Fast forward a few months, realising that The Ideal Sunday was no longer a one man job, Will hired a copywriter to help with the website content and social media allowing him more time to get back to the roots of the business and support the great eco causes he’s passionate about.
As they kick off year two, They’ve planted 1357 trees, expanded to over 350 products and has 35 suppliers, most of which are small, independent UK companies.