It’s been a crazy 10 years for Card Connection Franchisees David and Helen Rabaiotti.
It started back in 2010 when David purchased the franchise for the Bath territory. “Card Connection had supplied greeting card to the Post Office Helen and I here running, so we knew we were dealing with good company with great product,” said David.
Initially Helen continued to run the post office but after 5 years when the Post Office was closed, David and Helen decide to manage their greeting card franchise together by purchasing a second Card Connection territory to make up the income shortfall lost from the Post Office. So in 2015 the Rabaiotti’s purchase the Newport area.
“As Newport was the larger of the two areas,” explains David, “it was clear we had to relocate there. Card Connection allowed us to buy the new territory on the basis we put Bath up for sale due to the logistics of travel and being able to effectively merchandise both areas. This was quite a tough time for us, as not only were we relocating, we also had to transition from a man-in-a- van business working from home, to a multi franchise operation requiring a dedicated unit for stock and staff to help with the picking, packing and merchandising.”
In 2019, as Bath was sold to another Card Connection franchisee looking to expand their own empire, David and Helen had no intention of facing a second drop in income and with their increased stock holding and extra staff, they were still perfectly placed to think about second territory. Luckily the stars magically aligned as the Cardiff area came onto the market when the long-standing franchisee there decided it was time to retire. Cardiff was perfectly placed as it bordered Newport and the sales were well in excess of Bath.
Card Connection Business Development Manager Darren Hawkins, who is tasked with supporting The Rabbiaoti’s with developing their territories, speaks highly of them. “Although there have been some tough times getting to grips with their larger business, equally there has been some enjoyment along the way, especially in the form of Card Connection competitions,” smiles Darren. The couple have won a number of head office challenges, including highest volume of party products sold (won twice), highest volume of gift bag & giftwrap sold, and also largest number of new retail stores opened.
David and Helen agree. “You can win a few prizes, some quite good and some just a token gesture, but it’s all just a bit of fun, and at the same time it gets our competitive spirit goings! We love it!”.
So what are David and Helens thoughts on future plans? “We are 100% committed to Card Connection and are looking forward to growing and developing our newly formed territory by maximising each and every opportunity,” smiles David.