Our History

Pellacraft has come a long way since its founders printed names on to Parker pens at home and sold them to local mines.

The company was established by Stephen and Rosemary Pella - parents of current directors Samantha and Nicola - when they began selling items used as corporate gifts in 1981.

Stephen had worked as a miner at Bentinck Colliery, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, and latterly as a service engineer visiting mines, while his wife was a secretary and party planner. Rosemary said: “Steve started playing around cutting coal to make jewellery in the evenings. With his job going around mines he sold his jewellery to them. “He was asked if he could get a Parker pen with a company name on. It was being at the right place at the right time. Steve couldn’t say ‘no’ so he phoned Parker and printed them. “Then he started supplying British Coal and other mining companies, which would buy them as corporate gifts. It moved on to different items like T-shirts.”

The business was based at the family’s former home in Annesley, it then moved to rented premises in Annesley before moving to current property at Hermitage House, Hermitage Way, Mansfield, in the early 1990s. Initially just renting a room, it now occupies the entire building - 10,000 sq ft used for warehousing, a showroom, offices and rooms for training, printing, engraving, production, artwork and web design.

When the coal industry began to die in the early 1990s, it had to diversify into other areas. “We had to replace 75 percent of our turnover,” says Samantha, who along with Nicola has headed up the business in the past three years after both joined about 20 years ago. “We’d go to British Gas, universities, hotels, councils, local newspapers and had to put ourselves in front of a lot of other people. It meant we had to attend a lot of conferences to meet and greet.” Major events such as foot and mouth and 9/11 also had an impact as they hit tourism, affecting the hotel trade they had begun to work with, while the recession slowed down the business. Nicola said: “The recession did hurt us – customers had to stop spending because they were making people redundant and couldn’t buy promotional products. But it brought some new customers as well as we were very proactive during that time. “We encouraged people who didn’t have a lot of money to spend wisely to keep them in front of their customers. Companies just had to make their budgets stretch into being as powerful as they were before.”

“It all started with one man, Stephen Pella and coal.”