It all started in 1984 when Paul and Liz Jackson decided to take a year off to travel round the world instead of waiting for their retirement. After life changing experiences during their travels they came back to England to form Jackson Contra-Banned – importing artifacts from all over the world which were then added to teaching packages and sold to Schools Loans and Museums Services, Multi-Cultural Centres etc. The Contra-Banned in the title being a play on their import activities.
Enough people loved the products to make Liz, Paul and their colleagues John and Carol believe that there was a retail market for these items and so four shops were set up in Harrogate, York, Leeds and Huddersfield. With two extra people on board, a limited company was needed for this venture along with a name.
Sequin Stone Limited was quickly bought off the shelf and a trading name of CONTRABAND adopted for the retail shops. We began working with manufacturers across the Far East to create exclusive products for retail shops and quickly made use of our design and importing expertise by developing a giftware wholesale arm to the company which exhibited at all the major UK Trade Fairs – also called Sequin Stone Limited t/a CONTRABAND. After a major incident in 2000 where our warehouse was unexpectedly demolished and we lost the giftware business, Paul Jackson – a designer – created a stunning rage of high quality Stainless Steel Mirrors and Interior Accessories which took the place of the original giftware business. This kept the Sequin Stone Limited t/a CONTRABAND trading name and sold to large furniture chains, boutique hotels as well a creating bespoke commissions for the homes of some of the most well know Manchester footballers.
Enter the Hospices, looking for a supplier of two million Lapel Sunflowers for their national campaign. We tendered for and were awarded the contract in 1996. With a market so different to the retail/ wholesale giftware sector, we needed a new trading name. Some bright spark came up with CARE from CONTRABAND (Charities and Associated Retail Enterprises) and it stuck (even if it is a bit of a mouthful! ) Over the years we have seen CARE for CONTRABAND, CARE, CONTRABAND, CARE CONTRABRAND and numerous other versions. The name did raise a few eyebrows, especially among Finance personnel, but it was memorable once you got used to it.
Recently increasingly aggressive spam filters have blocked our emails due to the word “Contraband”, so we realised that changes had to be made. I thought that customers would be sad to see it go but I was wrong – CARE Fundraising Supplies was hailed as a much more logical and sensible name. The benefits on search engine optimisation should also be seen through more organic traffic to our new ecommerce web site. So, farewell to Sequin Stone Limited t/a CARE from CONTRABAND and a welcome hello to Sequin Stone Limited t/a CARE Fundraising Supplies!
Liz Jackson MD