Our story

The business began when I popped into to my mother in laws house one Saturday afternoon with our now two-year-old little girl Scarlett. She had been decorating her bedroom so she was keen to show me how it was all going. The hallway was piled up with her things and among it all, I spotted some old photo albums. I hadn’t seen many of my husband’s baby pictures or teenage pictures for that matter so I was curious to see how the man I fell in love with was in his younger years. I asked if I could take a look. We went downstairs and I began to show my daughter a mixture of   photos of Daddy. Scarlett kept saying ‘its Louis mummy’ (our Stepson looks very much like his Dad).


My husband’s birthday was approaching and I am always stuck on what to buy him, so on the way home that evening I sat in the wonderful rush hour traffic thinking how lovely it would be to have a picture of each of us as babies at the same age. A few days later I asked my mum if she had any shots of me at that age but apparently everyone was ‘too busy cuddling me’ to have their photos taken! I was most disappointed but decided to have a quick google to see whether anyone was offering anything like I wanted to create, there wasn’t.

I have been a photographer prior to having my daughter so I had a good knowledge of Photoshop so I thought I could create something myself and then have it printed and framed. I scanned in an old black & white print of Louis, then a vintage photograph of my husband and I found a great colour digital photo of our daughter on my phone, I turned it into a black & white and dropped this into the template I had created. At first I was happy with them as landscapes but something was not right. I had recently been to a friend’s house who was showing me her Instagram photos so I decided to set them up as squares as I really liked the square format. Still I was not happy, I wanted everybody who saw the pictures to know who they were looking at once the gift was on the wall. I then decided to add in the names and year my husband, Louis and our daughter was born. I added a background colour to match our wall then sat back and looked at what I had created, although I was not in it I loved it and knew my husband would too.

When we were… allows you to create something truly special, a fantastic Polaroid-style personalised photo gift or a piece of personalised wall décor that will be cherished forever. The options are endless!

I had ordered photo prints and personalised photo gifts from the internet before on many occasions and had been really disappointed with what I received. It was essential to me to have really good quality so I had them professional printed and then hand mounted with a beautiful conservation mount that was set behind acrylic (just in case of breakages) that was then set into a bespoke frame. I can’t tell you how delighted I was when I picked it up it was everything I wanted it to be, it was going to be the perfect gift.

I gave it to my husband a few days later for his birthday. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he opened it, he was speechless and he absolutely loved it. In fact, I have never seen him hang something on the wall so quick! We soon had friends over and it was my husbands pride and joy, ‘come and have a look!’ he was saying to everybody. Throughout the evening my girlfriends were pulling me to one side and asking me if I could do one of them as a gift for their respective partners. Before I knew it, I was getting calls and emails from friends of friends asking me the same thing! We started off with ‘When we were babies’ but as time elapsed we kept getting asked to do a whole range of content (see our ideas page) and it soon became clear that the options for a great personalised gift idea became limitless. We then decided with a lot of deliberation to rename our business ‘When we were……’. With such a variety of choices we have customers coming back time after time with a new take on content with some very interesting and funny personalised messages.

Each one I create gives me so much pleasure. They are very special and whether it is for you personally or it’s a gift for a friend you will simply love it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story, thanks to my wonderful production team and for all the kind comments that we are sent by our customers – it’s been an amazing journey so far.