Tinc is a UK, family-founded company that designs, makes and distributes extraordinary stationery, gadgets and gifts for kids of all ages.
In 2011 Jos & Heli Baker, a husband and wife team, found they were struggling to find cool stationery for their 4 children. With no UK retailers offering anything even resembling ‘lifestyle stationery’ at the time, the idea of Tinc was born. The name derives from the three core values of Think, Inspire & Create; something that Tinc tries to achieve with every product and promotion we offer.
Later that year the very first store opened in the city of Bath, England – a UNESCO World Heritage site and major visitor attraction in the UK. That passing trade soon tipped the team off to a wider demand for stylish and colourful kids goodies and so the range began to grow. This was marked in 2013 by Tinc receiving the Startup Awards ‘Product Business of the Year’. Clearly heading along the right track we’ve never stopped developing cool products since.
All of a Sudden...
2015 was then a big year for us, with – most significantly – the acquisition of several stores from a competitor of ours who sadly had to cease trading. When Blott Stationery was forced to close down we snapped up half a dozen of their stores as well as several new products and characters and at the height of our High Street powers we had 23 Tinc branded stores around the country.
Faced with high rent and rates, increased competition from online retailers and ever increasing expectations from customers as to what shape an instore experience should take, it’s difficult for small retailers to make it, especially when your products are as low priced as they are in a stationery shop. In an effort to ensure that we could continue to offer our gorgeous goodies to the market we therefore started to think about shrinking our our own store estate and instead focus more on buddying up with like-minded retailers who were already doing a great job. And so Tinc Wholesale was born and wow… Was that ever a game changer for us!
The Rise of Tinc Wholesale
Tinc’s first high profile reseller was John Lewis, who took a small range of our goodies for a limited number of stores way back in 2013. Since then we have worked tirelessly to develop the Tinc range at John Lewis, a massive UK department chain in partnership with the team there and we are proud that 6 years on we are now in EVERY one of their stores with our biggest, best and boldest range ever.
With the success of Tinc in John Lewis, we started to see a rapidly increasing interest from other resellers, both at home and overseas. In amongst these we even have a few full-blown franchises, giving Tinc physical storefronts in Qatar, Kuwait and Nairobi, with Delhi amongst others to open shortly.
By the start of 2019 Tinc had grown to work with more than 50 resellers, between them accounting for nearly 500 individual stores across the UK, EU and beyond. As a result you can now find Tinc in locations as diverse as Bookazine (bookstores) across Hong Kong, in one of the on-board shops on The Independence of the Seas (an international Cruise Ship), in Waterstones bookstores across the UK and in Robinsons department stores in Thailand. Look out for us in international airports as well – our products are featured in many WHSmiths globally. Anywhere you can find style-led kids we feel you should be able to find Tinc too!