How the time flies!...
While our factory here in Manchester has been making lingerie & sleepwear since 1935, it's 10 years this coming weekend since we decided to sell our wares 'online', direct to the public & we have to say, it's one of the best decisions we've ever made.
Before this point we manufactured product for most of the large UK high street retailers under their own brand names, a thankless challenge, trying to downwardly engineer garments to fit pricing models, with the constant threat of fines for late deliveries, random cancellation of orders if stock wasn't selling, hugely elongated payment terms, (some even insisted on paying for goods 4 months after delivery), not to mention the ones who fell into administration, so never paid at all!
Looking back, the stress & anxiety was never ending but that's how it was and the commitment to holding everything together for the sake of everyone's jobs & livelihoods in the factory was the ultimate driving factor.
In 2011 the possibility of opening our own little 'online' shop became a reality, before this the sheer cost of building an online / e-commerce store wasn't something within our grasp, largely due to the build or set up costs and the fact that they were so complex to operate, you either needed someone 'in house' with PhD in computer programming or had to pay a company a lot of money to maintain & operate it for you, neither of which were an option for us.
Our expertise is in designing & making knickers, what do we know about writing computer code in a myriad of strange languages? Thankfully a handful of tech companies such as 'Shopify' understood the barriers of entry into this brave new world and decided to make life easier for thousands of small businesses around the world, ...and we were one of them. This transition for us didn't happen overnight, it took several years to move from contract manufacturer to the high street to largely producing for just 'Ella & me' but by jingo it was worth it.
Worth it on many levels, we were suddenly able to make the garments we always wished we could make, without having to compromise on fabric quality & design. We could support our suppliers better, without projecting all our delivery stresses & price pressures upon them and most of all, our own colleagues have been able to relax & enjoy their jobs more, leading to an infinitely better work - life balance. I think I can confidently speak for everyone here, we all love coming to work! The one time we closed the factory for three weeks at the very beginning of the pandemic, a year last March, colleagues were calling each other to see if they could come in, even just to tidy the factory...
...now that wouldn't have happened before!
Categorically, it wouldn't have been possible without you, 'THANK YOU' ...who we consider part of our factory family and to celebrate our ten year retail milestone, we're offering 40% OFF EVERYTHING, including items in our 'Sale Collection' ...for the next week.
A really great opportunity to get your light, breathable & skin kind lingerie drawer essentials refreshed & ready for Summer.
Love & best wishes from Ella & me