Attire Accessories - Mar/Apr 2018 (Issue 69)

factory, so we are able to have full control over production. Each product that leaves the factory has been hand cut, hand finished, and scrutinised by our finishing team. One of the most important and unusual aspects of our production is that each machinist makes each item from beginning to end. We have tried other production methods, but this way is far more interesting for the machinist, giving a sense of pride and a real desire to produce something excellent. Working as both designers and manufacturers means that we are able to be flexible and create bespoke designs for customers. I find that working in collaboration with other designers and brands is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of our business. How important is your location and history to the company in its success? Our location is vital to the success of the business. We started by working from home, but with three young children space became an issue, so we moved into a variety of industrial units around the village, which wasn’t ideal. However, eventually the local bridal factory came up for sale, so we were delighted to move in and have everything in one place. I would dispute the belief that it is difficult to find skilled people in the countryside; I have found the opposite to be true. As we continued to grow I discovered an extraordinary wealth of talent in the area. Nearly all our machinists are self-taught and have become experts at working with faux fur. I have colleagues with amazing design skills, management experience and IT knowledge. Some have moved to Devon from cities to raise their families, but equally many of our staff are from farming families. Either way we have been able to fulfil the various demanding needs of the company. Most importantly the workforce is loyal and conscientious, and shares my vision and values. One of the most rewarding things about being an employer is seeing people blossom once they have found their niche within the company. Flexible working is accepted as the norm and we are members of the Living Wage Foundation. As a result the company is rewarded with fierce loyalty and a willingness to pull out all the stops when the occasion demands. How has the product offering changed over the years and how would you describe your current collection? The product offering has changed dramatically over the years.The leap from hand printed postcards to luxury faux fur is enormous, but it evolved over many years. It was wonderful for me to return to my roots in fashion and textiles and I have loved every minute of this most recent incarnation. Our current collection has been inspired by the colours of the ocean and includes a Sea Green, Coral and Ocean Blue.These colours work beautifully alongside our natural tones and we have created some great new styles featuring colour blocking. How often do you launch new lines and what are your best-selling designs? Tell me about your recent campaigns. I launch our new main collection each January for forward ordering for the Autumn/Winter season. We always aim to be innovative, introducing striking new colours and textures, but there are some fabrics that our customers simply won’t allow us to give up – Truffle being the most enduring in popularity. I always include some more expensive hero pieces in the collection, which may not become best sellers but are loved by a minority, and often worn by celebrities. Later in the year we introduce a small capsule collection; this is a way of highlighting the brand later in the season and gives us the opportunity to experiment with fresh ideas that may not belong to a whole collection. Our best-selling line is currently our beautiful loop scarf and recently we have noticed a new interest in our Huffs, which are our luxurious version of a headband. Last year we launched a Children’s collection, which is now sold in Harrods. We are in the process of launching a new Wedding collection, which we will be showing at The White Gallery in March. What trade shows do you exhibit at, and for what reason? Over the last 30 years I think that we must have exhibited at all the UK gift and fashion shows.They have served us very well and it is mainly through the shows that we have established our customer base. Top Drawer has always been my favourite, it is the show which really demonstrates the phenomenal creative talent in this country. Pure has worked very well for us but this year we have chosen to show at Scoop instead, as our customers are constantly asking us why we are not there. We have made the big decision this year to stop exhibiting at most of the shows. 56 ATTIRE