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Our communications officer, Reb, recently went to visit our cohort 2 members Made Happy Gifts. Find out what we learnt about the company, their goals, and their incredible creative business.

Made Happy Gifts is a unique creative business at the heart of Kent. They are a family run business working with sustainable materials to bring joy and the gift of giving to others.

We are passionate about offering eco-friendly alternatives to traditional plastic toys, and our products are loved by families and schools throughout the UK.

-The Made Happy Gifts Team

How did Made Happy come to be and how are they making a difference?

Made Happy Gifts is a 3D printing gift business that offers unique and bespoke gifts, as well as a range of accessories. Their focus is creating alternatives to plastic gifts and toys, and their products are even lego compatible.

Using a suite of 3D printers and a bespoke robot helper, Made Happy are able to work around the clock to create their gifts. Beginning their business during the pandemic after having coveted a 3D printer for a while, they began making new toys and gifts for other people.

Soon enough one printer turned to three, three to seven, and suddenly they had 44 printers working in the garden shed. Growing rapidly, and with diminishing space to manage their business outputs they had a decision to make. Where would they carry on their business and how would they manage this? This was a cross roads for the business and the family, but they were all invested and committed to what they were doing.

Founder Isabelle Davidge said about this time:

‘If you set up something to grow, it always comes back to you’.

And the ability to grow has continued to propel the business since then. With little space left in their family home, they decided to move to a new premises in the Kent countryside and have continued to flourish ever since.

How has a robot arm revolutionised the workflow of the company?

As the business continued to grow, so did their demand and it became an around the clock job to organise the printers. ‘It felt like playing tetris to get all of the printers on’. This limited capacity no matter how many printers were available, so the company found a new employee! The robot arm Steve.

Steve helps Made Happy Gifts to streamline their production, working around the clock to start prints, take them out of the printer, and manage the workflow. It took over three months working with a programmer to develop the software that allows them to control and operate the arm in the best way for them, but they’re now able to manage their production any time, any place.

The team has expanded even beyond the world of robotics, working with local universities the company offers apprenticeships to local designers and engineers, and has also expanded their work force permanently in recent months.

How does the business focus on sustainability ?

Made Happy Gifts are currently working towards their B-Corp certification and sustainability is at the core of their business values.

For every reel of plant based 3d printer filament used, Made Happy plant a tree to work towards positive and sustainable impact goals.

Furthermore, their prints are made out of a plant-based plastic which is derived from sugarcane and corn-starch . The use of plant based materials allows the company to focus on sustainability and carve the way for a more environmentally friendly future for the industry as a whole.

The printers do have an offshoot of filament waste that comes out of the back of the filament loads, but the company have even gone to the lengths of trying to reuse/repackage these. In recent months they’ve been donated to local artists and art schools, and the company are hoping to develop other ways of using these fun, spindly creations.

What’s next for Made Happy Gifts?

Continuing to focus on their B-Corp certification, Made Happy Gifts are looking to experimenting with bespoke designs and finding new companies and audiences to share their products with.

To learn more about them and follow their journey, head to their website and follow them on socials .