• Artiwood Andrew McGregor and Garry Smith.
    Artiwood Andrew McGregor and Garry Smith.

Over the past five years, Artiwood Australia has grown from being one of the toy industry’s hidden gems to winning the 2016 Toy Supplier Of The Year award.

The company has grown four-fold and expanded its portfolio of quality boutique brands.

Its performance is all the more impressive when listening to joint managing directors Garry Smith and Andrew McGregor rattle off the changes they’ve made since acquiring the business in June 2015 from founder John Daniels.

In only 18 months they’ve upgraded Artiwood’s accounting system, introduced a new CRM system, relocated its warehouse, visited overseas suppliers and factories, and revamped its marketing program. They’ve also been hard at work building a new website that launches soon.

Smith and McGregor consider themselves fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time.

“We spent three years searching for the right acquisition,” McGregor said. “We’d almost given up hope when we came across Artiwood. We fell in love with the company, its eco-friendly philosophy and products, from the moment we saw it.”

Smith and McGregor have leveraged Artiwood’s niche focus to drive growth. Its brand portfolio now includes I’m Toy, Indigo Jamm, New Classic Toys and Apple Park.

In 2015, Artiwood’s brand portfolio expanded to include Kinderfeets, a Dutch-inspired US balance bike brand; CaaOcho, 100 per cent natural rubber toys; The Freckled Frog; wooden activity sets; and Inakids’ magnetic games.

McGregor says their disciplined approach and service ethos is clearly paying off, with several international brand owners initiating business partnership conversations.

“Garry and I were tempted by some impressive brands, but we’ve found a niche that works. Our focus on eco-friendly toys and great customer service is serving us well.”

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