It was never meant to be anything more than a bit of fun.
Three years ago, Australian entrepreneur and then-HR manager Lori Phegan just wanted to blow off some steam from her day job by leveraging material she’d gathered from 20 years in human resources and turning her workplace frustrations into pithy, tongue-in-cheek slogans.
She put them on mugs, pens and notebooks as ‘inappropriate gifts’ and sold them on a basic Wix website she’d set up herself, alongside social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook.
But it was only meant to be a creative outlet – a way to have a laugh, vent and share inappropriate humour with other mothers – until one of her products went viral.
A mug with the words ‘I’m not feeling very talky today. Off you f*ck” took the internet by storm, racking up nearly 10 million views virtually overnight.
Demand for her products shot through the roof – and it was more than she, or the website, could handle.
“What used to happen was I'd have two or three orders maybe a day. I'd pack them, go down to the post office, write a little note to my customers,” she toldYahoo FinanceEditor-in-Chief Sarah O’Carroll on theNew Investorseries.
“And then my website started getting two hundred orders in per day, for a week, and I had to turn the website off.”
Juggling motherhood, a corporate job and what was just meant to be a small-scale online business, the viral mug brought everything to a standstill.
With such a stunning reception, it was all the confirmation she needed to take the hobby all the way.
“I thought to myself: this has actually got legs. This business has got legs, so let's close that website, let's do this properly, and structure ourselves so that we can actually fulfill those orders.”
The company is now a far cry from its humble roots as a little online outfit. The Inappropriate Gift Co now has operations in Australia as well as the UK, and is on track to meet its targets to turn over three million this year.
Buying a gift for a teacher is a lovely gesture- after all, we have a lot to thank them for! But we all know it can be hard to find something personal and useful that 30 other class mums haven’t already thought of!
Here are some tongue-in-cheek gift-giving ‘dont’s’ from The Inappropriate Gift Co.to help guide you through your Christmas gifting.
Enjoy our hilarious guide to making it through the yuletide culinary chaos unscathed. From the Christmas lunch, that magical time of year when your waistband tightens and your inner food enthusiast high-fives your inner glutton, to the family dynamics and deep-seed emotional scars that rear their head! We have you covered with a strategy that involves wit, alcohol, and a pair of stretchy pants.