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ABOUT US 

Plantabox sells wooden handmade crates based on the original apple crate design for storage, toy boxes, storage crates, retail display, wine boxes, herb gardens and planters. Owned by two people from different generations, Martin and Dave believe that fast, smart and focussed decisions are the key to the success of Plantabox as a brand. 
Plantabox sells wooden handmade crates based on the original apple crate design for storage, toy boxes, storage crates, retail display, wine boxes, herb gardens and planters. Owned by two people from different generations, Martin and Dave believe that fast, smart and focussed decisions are the key to the success of Plantabox as a brand. 
 
“We bought Plantabox in 2010 having seen an advert on the Internet. It was what I would describe as a 'kitchen table' type business run by two people literally in their back garden, but we saw huge potential,” Martin said. “When we moved the business to Exeter we drove to Bournemouth and put everything into a lorry and drove it back where we had to carry it up two flights of stairs to our old city-centre office”. 
 
Plantabox had already been trading for about two years before Martin, a people person and Operations Director; and Dave, a marketing man and Managing Director who previously owned a digital agency in Nottingham, transformed it into a highly successful and growing online business. Martin continued: “We’ve built something up, created the right environment, nourished it and we’re delighted to see it grow.” 
 
Martin is the hands-on side of the duo. A former deputy head of a school in Sheffield, professional presenter, and first-class rugby referee, Martin overlooks the entire process from how they make the crates to the quality and despatch of the final product. Martin said: “My complete focus every day, even when I’m not working, is always about customers.” 
 
Their latest innovation using texts and email to notify customers of a ‘one hour delivery’ window is an example of their customer centric focus. In the last year Plantabox have shipped over 20,000 crates, averaging about 100 a day, but they are obsessive about quality. “We looked at the crates, tried to ‘think like a customer’ and have changed the way we sprayed the crates, personalise and dispatch them. We also changed how we transpose the lettering on the crates by becoming truly digital.” 
 
The digital innovation has completely transformed Plantabox’s business, speeding up the process of personalising the crates and enabling them to put any logo or pixel perfect image onto the side of a wooden crate. This has led to a growth of trade customers including Diageo, John Lewis and Crocs. 
 
The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) crates used at their Marsh Barton warehouse are transformed from traditional looking apple crate to personalised herb garden kits or toy boxes is completed by the team headed by Gemma and Graham. One of the stand-out success stories has been the quality of the Plantabox team, our internal customers. 
 
Martin and Dave are aware that the synergy of their different personalities is what helps to drive the company’s success but also recognise the criticality and contribution of their team. Dave, who has a background in digital marketing, is in no doubt about what has contributed to Plantabox’s rapid growth: “The key to Plantabox is the strength of our team. Gifting is an emotional market – people buy gifts for key events and for someone special. You have one chance to get it there on time and in perfect condition. We are in the business of creating special gifts for special people on special occasions.”