Dreaming of a BLUE Christmas! Yorkshire mother whose smutty greeting cards have won a celebrity fan base now turns over £1.5m a year
- Stacey Dennis, 32, from Yorkshire, started business with just £30 in the bank
- She had been made redundant and her husband was off work with injured back
- Together the couple launched a business making lewd greeting cards
- They have since won a celebrity fan base and are making £1.5million a year
A mother-of-one whose smutty greeting cards have earned a celebrity following now turns over £1.5m a year.
Graphic designer Stacey Dennis, 32, from Pontefract, Yorkshire, started her business with just £30 in the bank but now counts the likes of Katie Price and Georgia Toffolo among her fans.
Stacey was made redundant in 2014 just as she went on maternity leave while pregnant with her daughter Layla and, in a cruel twist of fate, and her plasterer husband Jay, 37, injured his back shortly afterwards
The couple had just £30 in the bank when Stacey set up in business as a freelance graphic designer and one of her first gigs was to create some Valentine’s cards for an LBGT charity.
Stacey said: ‘I have a pretty way out sense of humour, so I came up with some filthy slogans and some smutty cards and the 11 designs sold like hot cakes for the LBGT charity.
Rags to riches: Stacey Dennis, 32, from Pontefract, Yorkshire, started her greeting card business with just £30 but now counts Katie Price and Georgia Toffolo among her fans
Made in Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo, left, and Geordie Shore star Abbie Holborn, right, with Layla Loves cards made by designer Stacey Dennis who launched her business following her redundancy
A selection of cards from LoveLayla.co.uk. The business boasts celebrity clients including Vicky Pattison, Abbie Holborn, Charlotte Crosby and Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis
‘I really pushed the limit and it worked so well and they eventually spiralled out of control.
‘It was then that me and Jay realised we had the chance to make it on our own – he was lying on the sofa for a month with his injured back.
‘He wanted to help, so having never used a computer he took on the challenge to publicise the cards and got stuck into social media.
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‘We were selling on eBay at first, but after Mother’s Day and some more rather risqué cards we decided we needed our own LoveLayla.co.uk website.
‘We went from a couple of cards at £3.75 – including first class postage – being done on the kitchen table to 60,000 in just six weeks.
‘Turnover in that first year hit £1 million and there was just the two of us. We are up to five now and the turnover has gone up each year. We are now at £1.5 million and growing.’
And LoveLayla.co.uk also has celebrity clients including Vicky Pattison, Abbie Holborn, Charlotte Crosby and Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis, who recently received a racy LoveLayla card from his daughter.
Vicky Pattinson with one of the cards, which have helped to earn Layla a fortune. Her business turns over £1.5m a year – a far cry from when the family were struggling to make ends meet
Stacey’s daughter Layla has now started school, but had already learnt to write her name from the company logo.
Stacey said: ‘When we drive past our warehouse unit, Layla always says ‘I am the real Layla!’
‘Fortunately, our Layla doesn’t swear and she’s not allowed to see all the cards as some are just too rude.
‘It’s funny, but I am not a fan of comedian Chubby Brown as I don’t like the swearing, but our cards do sometimes us the c-bomb or the f-word, but it’s all about the humour for me.
‘We do mainstream cards, but it is the rude and racy ones that really sell. We have a turkey on a card for this Christmas with the slogan ‘Chicks Before d***s’.
Lightbulb moment: Stacey, 32, was made redundant in 2014 just as she went on maternity leave while pregnant with her daughter Layla and her plasterer husband Jay injured his back
‘Another has a little gingerbread man on it with the message – ‘Gingers are for life not just for Christmas.’
‘Another says ‘Santa knows you’ve been a k**b, you are getting f**k all’ and then there is one popular among girlfriends with the message ‘You are on the naughty list for excessive use of your dildo.’
‘For the well-endowed ladies out there we have a card with the message ‘Merry Christmas Tinsel T***s’ – that’s one of my favourites – along with ‘Christmas Time, Camel Toe and Wine.’’
Her favourite card to date features a goggle-eyed Elf holding a present with the slogan ‘When I think about you I touch my elf!’
And Stacey, who has won a clutch of small business awards for her enterprise that now has a staff of five, also has a message of peace for the festive season with her card declaring: ‘Deck the halls, not your family.’
For those with other festive birthday celebrations her card reads: ‘I am sorry that your December birthday is overshadowed by a bloke that wore socks with sandals.’
Stacey added: ‘There is nothing out there, or as out there as our LoveLayla cards, because we are the realistic ones.
‘We sit down all five of us and brainstorm and our brand is built on taking the pee out of each other. In the office it is constant banter and p*ss-taking.
Stacey with daughter Layla. The family had just £30 in the bank when Stacey set up in business as a freelance graphic designer and one of her first gigs was to create Valentine’s cards
‘We have had complaints from people – including vegans, feminists and some Christians.
‘If you don’t like it then turn the page and don’t look, but I am standing up for what I believe in and that’s the freedom to be funny.
‘We do some cards that don’t swear, as I like the wit rather than the foul language.’
Her Australian husband of five years Jay, 37, added: ‘Stacey has a wicked sense of humour, but this business shows what you can do when you are under pressure.
‘There we were with £30 in the bank and then we open a business that turns over £1 million in a year.
‘My favourite card is the one I came up with…’Jesus loves you, but I think you’re a d**khead.’
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