Lost your password?
Don't have an account? Sign Up

The Wee Blue Crew own the Wee Blue Coo! 4/5 (2)

Edinburgh based print and design firm , Wee Blue Coo, has rewarded its employees with the keys to the business following their hard work during the global pandemic. In a quirky move typical of this innovative and unique company, they named their Employee Ownership Trust Wee Blue Crew. 

Launched from the living room of couple Bob and Joelle Kirkpatrick in the middle of the 2008 financial crash; the Wee Blue Coo Ltd has established itself as a successful business, dispatching thousands of products globally each week and selling its products on multiple online marketplaces.

Bob and Joelle were both made redundant from their jobs in 2006 before setting up their business, creating posters from public domain images to retail on eBay. Fast forward 15 years, they now have a strong team of 30 members of staff – some of which have been employed for more than 10 years – and have an annual revenue of more than £2 million.  

Having previously gifted a 10% shareholding to long term employee Allan Gray for his hard work and dedication, the three shareholders agreed that the move to employee ownership was in line with the company’s values by safeguarding the future of the business for the benefit of its employees.

The entrepreneurs began exploring the succession model in 2019 and decided to go ahead completing the transition in November 2021.

Bob Kirkpatrick said: “Employee ownership was the only real option for us to ensure we safeguarded the futures of those who have contributed to our company’s success. The Employee Ownership Trust seems like a perfect and logical way to structure any business.”

Joelle Kirkpatrick added: “Being a people led business has always been the very essence of who we are, which is why becoming an Employee-Owned business was the only option that was seriously considered. 

“Running our business this way has ensured we have a motivated and dedicated team who feel valued. That has always been more important to us than the bottom line. Relaying this news to our team has, without a doubt, been the highlight of my career so far.”

Bob and Joelle have always sought to take care of their staff with perks such as flexible working and even providing private healthcare to all employees with more than one years’ service.

Naturally the couple felt this was the next step for them business. The team were shocked and delighted at the news and are very excited at being given the opportunity to shape the future of Wee Blue Coo Ltd. 

Graeme Slater, Warehouse Manager, said: “Now that we are an employee-owned company it means that we all have a say in the direction the company takes in the future. This is a great opportunity to help us to grow as a company and offers us the chance to enjoy a more secure and prosperous future.”

Please rate this