The Empty Box Company was founded in 1988 by James Teague and myself, Giselle Hulme, to revive the old fashioned Edwardian Hat Box and Dress Box.
We found an old Christie’s Hat Box in a Tailors shop in Norwich that was closing down, and the lady in the shop told us of the many boxes she could have sold, if they were still made! And so began a journey of discovery, which grew into success, as James and I began to make Hat Boxes in different sizes and designs, covered in beautiful British interior design papers, trimmed with lace, with matching ribbon attached.
My mother’s wedding dress was in a brown cardboard box on top of her wardrobe and I felt she should have a beautiful box for such a unique and special dress. With further advice from The Victoria and Albert Museum, the first Empty Box Company Wedding Dress Box was made, complete with tissue paper and packing details, plus advice on storing a dress.
Today we have a thriving workshop near Tavistock, Devon, where all the boxes are handmade. I am a conservationist, and the company ethos fits this profile; to individually make a product designed to last, that is useful yet beautiful, of the highest quality, handmade in this country, supporting British manufacturing, and that does not cost the earth; our production and sourcing supplies, is environmentally friendly wherever possible. Over the past 32 years, our unique boxes have been made using our specially milled recycled board, as an end using to the paper recycling industry. These boxes have stored the special items in people’s lives; a unique dress, a Christening robe to hand down, a Memory Box for lost loved ones, a Treasure Box for keepsakes of a special day, all preserved to nurture the love that dwells between families and friends, & kept beautifully to show to the next generation. Our boxes have protected from flood and fire damage, and even house a Royal Wedding Dress.
Film and TV series including Bridgerton, Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge, Eastenders, Emmerdale, Disney, plus many more, and theatre such as The Welsh National Opera have asked us to make boxes for them. Props departments know they will get a beautifully authentic and well-made Box!
Do you have a Story to Tell?
Our boxes have walked with people in their lives, remembering their special moments; the wedding (Wedding Dress Boxes), the birth of their first baby (Baby Keepsake Boxes) Storing baby clothes (Toy Boxes & Christening Robe Boxes) Even keeping Dad’s record collection (LP Boxes) or just the Family Photos or letters (Archive Photosnaps Box and Memento Box.)
If you have a story to tell, of how you have used one, or many of our boxes, even if it is just the memories brought back when you packed your wedding dress away, we would love you to share it with us. Write your story as a guest post on our news page and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join our Empty Box Community with your love of beautiful boxes!
Co Founder of The Empty Box Company