A PAIR of business partners from the district are anticipating another bumper year for the online toy company they founded 14 months ago.

Rob Owlett, from Oakworth, and Elliot Lumb, who lives near Cullingworth, together set up PoundToy and now employ 12 other staff.

Although their customers buy the toys online, the e-commerce firm has its own distribution warehouse in Cross Roads, near Keighley.

The company, which began trading last October, aims to sell a range of children’s toys at much lower prices than the larger, more established outlets.

Mr Owlett, who previously worked in online and digital marketing for online giant Google, said: “Elliot had been selling toys as a side project on Amazon and Ebay.

“That was going very well so we decided to pool our skills and see if we could take it further.

“We’ve got a good mix of backgrounds, with Elliot focusing on the supply side of things while I can concentrate on the selling. It works really well.

“We put our heads together to come up with the original concept of PoundToy.

“We have both got kids from previous relationships and know it’s not easy to afford toys for them at Christmas.

“So our idea was to do something to try and make Christmas, and also birthdays, cheaper for parents.

“We expected the business to be seasonal, but in fact we were as busy in June as we are in December. It’s been incredible.”

Mr Owlett said the company has the key advantage of not having the high overheads involved with maintaining expensive high street premises.

“We use the same suppliers as the big companies but don’t have the same high street costs,” he added.

“E-commerce cuts out the expenses part of retail. Last Christmas we were mainly selling in the Keighley area but now about 35 per cent of our customers are based in and around the London area, which is fantastic for us as a business.

“It did come as a surprise, because we had thought our demographic was mainly going to be less affluent areas.

“In the last 12 months we’ve seen huge growth and have sold about 366,000 toys. It got so busy that we both had to quit our last jobs to run this full time.

“We had thought it would be more of a sideline project, and weren’t expecting this.

“We’ve already grown to 14 staff, all of which are from Keighley. And we hope to continue our expansion.”