Digital & IT

Published: July 22, 2020 | Updated: July 22, 2020

From Dorset to the world as childhood buddies launch eCommerce site packed with cool items

Forajer Founders Ben Beach (left), Gemma and Louis Reeves with their daughter, Juno, five.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A new eCommerce store featuring an online collection of ‘curated’ and ‘created’ lifestyle and homeware goods is hoping to take the world by storm from its Dorset base.

Forajer was only launched at the weekend but has already secured orders from as far afield as Seattle in the USA.

The site features 152 product lines ranging from handmade screenprints, homewares and accessories to one-off collection vintage pieces, described as ‘curiosities’.

Prices range from £5 to £249.

It’s the creation of Louis and Gemma Reeves and Ben Beach and aimed at the middle to upper end of the market.

Louis, 39, said: “We will be sourcing stuff we love that is manufactured by others, as well as creating our own Forajer goods.

“Forajer was born out of a mutual passion for art, interiors, design, marketing, branding and a desire to plug a hole in the market.

“We wanted to create a marketplace, full of the cool items we love to have in our own homes and bring them into others.

“There’s an eclectic blend of contemporary ‘curated’ goods, from brands we are proud to call our partners, and our very own ‘created’ Forajer goods.”

Louis, who has a digital marketing background and owns sales and marketing agency SEE DIGITAL, has been friends with Ben from childhood.

Ben, 41, a graphic designer, illustrator and printmaker, co-founded I Love Dust Ltd in 2003 – which he sold in 2016 – and now owns Southbourne-based WRKSHP33.

Meanwhile Gemma, 38, has a background in corporate banking and is a former Vice President of JPMorgan.

All three live in Bournemouth, while Forajer is based in West Parley.

Louis said: “We have talked about creating a brand like Forajer for many years.

“We decided it was the right time to combine our varied skillsets – and more than 30 years of friendship – to start a new business.

“We didn’t want to get lost in the noise, selling average yet often overpriced goods which can easily be found elsewhere on the internet.

“Our curational buying strategy, and our own in-house creations, allow us to be confident in the quality of our wares and service.

“We may be based in Dorset but we’re a global business, shipping our goods worldwide.

“We will continue to seek, rummage, create and deliver the best trend and design-driven goods on the web.

“There are lots more exciting collaborations on the horizon, with plenty of exciting products being added regularly.

“Whether you’re a weary-eyed Late Night Shopper or an early morning Loot Lurker, we hope we have something for you.”

To add to the experience, all goods are delivered in hand screenprinted boxes with the Forajer logo and contain a personalised thank you letter, with extras such as branded stickers.

“We want to add another layer of quality and reinforce our USP as a provider of high-end goods with excellent customer service.

“It’s ensuring that the whole shopping experience with Forajer is a memorable one, whether buying for yourself or others,” said Louis whose previous roles have included three years as Head of Joint Ventures with Bournemouth-based Adido.

The website was designed and built fully in-house by Gemma, Louis and Ben, again bringing their skillsets together.

Dorset partners involved in the creation of Forajer have included Back and Forth Print in Wimborne and photographic stylist Pip Silvers in Bournemouth.

Louis said work on the new business had started in earnest last November and the early response had been “very encouraging”.

He added: “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved.

“Last October we had a vision in our heads of how we wanted it to look and feel but no brand or website.

“There are massive benefits of being close friends with a shared vision and goal of creating a unique brand with a simple to use, but very good-looking, website.

“To have created this from nothing in just eight months – and now be shipping our goods worldwide – is quite an achievement.”