How we've helped Charlie Bears
Charlie Bears are affordable, collectable bears and characters designed by Charlie at The Bearhouse in Cornwall.
We’ve been so focused on growing the business that we’ve put certain things by the wayside, and training has been one of them. It wasn’t until we did a staff survey looking at what we do well and what we could do better as a business that it came and hit us that we weren’t putting enough money, time or investment into training our staff.
How we helped
A business idea that originally started out as a hobby has developed into something far beyond that for Will Morris and his Launceston company Charlie Bears. Commencing business out of his wife Charlie’s bedroom in 2006 – making just 12 collectible teddy bears – Charlie Bears now makes 2,500 designs with a team of 30 staff, has 500 retailers in 37 different countries, and distribution facilities in both Australia and the United States.
No longer a hobby, is it?
With the goal of taking the top shelf collectible bear and making it more affordable, Charlie Bears is a Cornish success story. With their main market being people aged 40+, Charlie Bears ethos is about creating more than just a toy product, instead focusing on creating a collectible that people would be proud to have shown off on their shelf.
With the changing habits of how we shop, consume and how we work in general being accelerated thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, Charlie Bears has been forced to take time out to strategise as to how they could continue to make their business better. This led them to the Skills Hub.
“We’ve been so focused on growing the business that we’ve put certain things by the wayside, and training has been one of them. It wasn’t until we did a staff survey looking at what we do well and what we could do better as a business that it came and hit us that we weren’t putting enough money, time or investment into training our staff,” said Will, the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
Linking with Skills Connector Ian Watkiss, Will is in the process of putting together a training plan that will see his staff better equipped to handle this new way of working.
“The interview with Ian was fascinating. We’d already done a lot of the work prior in terms of the survey around skills gaps, so we had a very specific list of things that we wanted to look for. Being able to offload that to a specialist, someone from an independent basis, was brilliant,” said Will.
On commenting on the help of the Skills Hub, Will would advise any business to consider having an impartial set of eyes look over your current state of affairs.
“It’s great to have independent eye on an area of the business that isn't our core competence, allowing us to focus on the core business whilst the work is being done behind the scenes to look at the best options for our needs,” he said.