Bleyer turns 10 years old this week and we've been celebrating by rewarding our customers with delicious handmade chocolates with every order. To commemorate this marvelous occasion, Caroline (Bleyer's Managing Director) decided to share a few words:
"I can’t believe that Bleyer has now been in business for ten years and am incredibly grateful to my colleagues, friends and customers for all the love and support that I have received during the years.
The team today
We have gone from strength to strength as we've grown older. I understand the importance of keeping my team happy through correct management and establishing the right work environment. My employees, in turn, reflect my loyalty on to you. We eat, laugh and work together, all as one happy family.
I am blessed to have our creative Jerry, and I want to say a special thanks to Robin and Dan for their amazing work in going the extra mile for our customers. I want to thank Jennie for her research articles over the years and Kathryn for making sure the books balance every week.
All of the success we've had has been down to our customers. My best moments in business have been the meetings where we hand over physical gold and silver in the genuine pleasure of seeing someone begin a journey of self-enhanced wealth protection and independent financial planning. Many of you stay in touch and we very much value your thoughts and feedback – it’s how we grow as people and as a business.
Looking towards the future, we're dedicated to making your experience of dealing with us even more secure, pleasant and effortless. We're working hard on an even more user-friendly online interface which will work better on any devices. I won’t promise any dates yet, as from my experience the process of software development is known to be reliably unreliable. We'll be sure to shout about it when we have everything ready to go.
I'd like to take a moment and give our partners a shout-out. We've loved getting involved in the local community and helping out when we can. Over the years, we've supported and helped raise money for; the Young Farmers Club, Country Land and Business Association, North Devon Hospice, Royal Marines Veterans Charity and most recently, The Barn Owl Trust.
Where and how it all started
I often get asked questions like “so how did you become a bullion dealer?” and “have you always done this?” so in case you're interested, I thought this might be a good juncture to give you a bit of my insight.
Without going into too much detail, in my early years, I happily survived on a variety of unskilled work and enjoyed my leisure time riding motorcycles and helping by crewing for friends who were in a motorcycle endurance race teams.
We all must grow up some time, some just do it slower than others ;-)
Eventually, I decided a university degree might be handy, as I knew next to nothing about computers and was hungry for a new challenge. I became a Systems Analyst in project managing software development in a variety of industries and gained a lot of exposure to the world of banking and finance. I supported teams working in customer service and marketing. This all gave me a fantastic grounding.
When my eldest child Hannah was born, I gave up the long hours of my job in IT and went to work in our family business, managing property. My father died a year later and I found myself with the job of asset management, which took many guises. It was a long and difficult road, working to sort out complex practical, personal, financial and occasionally legal. On this journey, I learned that many advisors simply see you as a meal ticket which was very disconcerting.
I like to treat others as I wish to be treated myself, and by nature, love to help people. I get quite attached to my customers and want them to have the best possible experience when dealing with us.
After selling a property in the summer of 2006, some of this was used to buy gold, silver and palladium (which was particularly undervalued at the time). All the investment managers I’d been talking to were in denial that the stock and property markets were overinflated. Everywhere I looked, I saw more debt. The UK was going the same way as the US. ‘Buy now and pay later.’ I knew that this party couldn’t go on forever and I didn’t believe that the bubble wouldn’t burst.
Bleyer is born
It was then that I had the idea that I’d like to demystify bullion ownership and enable anyone to easily get into the market. In May 2009, Bleyer LLP was born. In 2012 I became a sole trader when my marriage ended. My ex thought that I’d throw in the towel as well, liquidate the business and return to London. I didn't. I wanted to turn it into a success and see what I could do to make a better life in Devon, my still fairly new home.
I had Alison and Jennie working for us then. It took a long time to get established and there were many times I almost gave up, the task seemed too enormous. Friends and colleagues encouraged me and the challenge kept me going through some tough times. Lovely Julie replaced Alison as our bookkeeper and now we have the fantastic Kathryn in this challenging role.
I made having a robust E-commerce website a priority and getting this off the ground was a real turning point. I hired some new talent and found Dan, who gave us a real business boost.
Back then, we ran a small office in South Molton and developed a website to deliver online pricing for current customers. This eventually turned into a 24/7 full e-commerce site with fully integrated card payment options, subsequently making an investment even more accessible to everyone. Our aim was always to give everyone the opportunity to safeguard, accumulate and manage their wealth by using bullion coins and bars and this was just the start.
I would personally like to thank all our loyal customers for your fantastic support over the many years and I’d especially like to express my gratitude for the lovely messages of appreciation that we regularly receive here.
We wouldn't be where we are today without you so, a big thank you from all of us."