In the beginning (about 1990)…
…there was a table in a dining room of a house in the leafy suburb of Barnet where leaflets were labelled up ready for mailing, and a shed in the back garden where orders were typed and packed ready for despatch.
But how and why did it start?
Arkley Labels started in 1976 selling labels to the garment trade and general industry. We came across these stickers in 1989 produced by some friends in Australia but didn’t really think much more about it. Then one day a school in Battersea telephoned and said do you do stickers for schoolchildren? We said well yes we do and hopped in the car and drove to Battersea. They selected 20 designs that they liked, we airfreighted them in from Australia and they formed the core of a new range called School Merit Stickers. (That’s why the bank account is called Arkley Labels & School Merit Stickers).
Well things got busier, before long the shed was bursting, stickers were being stored in the boot of the Montego (the family car) and the loft. Also there was nowhere to store the bikes and lawnmower. Fortunately a friend was running a screenprinting business just round the corner and made some space available.
The volume of orders continued to grow, and regular runs to the post office were made in grandpa’s gold Renault 5, known to family & friends as Gumdrop. However, before long there was a great lack of space once again, and an uncle had some land in New Barnet which we bought in 1994 and built premises on. School Merit Stickers remains there to this very day.
The range now comprises over 1,500 products from stickers and certificates to baseball caps and USB sticks, as well as a whole range of awards that can be personalised. Most of the products are produced in the UK, many of them in our own factory. With new ideas coming from teaching professionals all over the country the range just keeps on growing!
Our reason for being hasn’t changed though: it’s to provide the most effect rewards for learners of all ages.
So what’s new?
The website has been completely re-designed and launched earlier this year with many new features.
It’s iPhone and iPad compatible, apparently this means the screen sort of squishes up to suit whatever size and shape of screen you have. Now you can browse at any time from anywhere!
Office & ID accessories are now included online with some great bulk buy discounts. This is for lanyards, ID card holders, office stampers and all that sort of thing.
There are more bulk buy discounts on Budget Beaters and Web Bargains.