Meet the manufacturer – Make it British

Having attended this conference for my second time now, second time running was even better than the first.

It was great to meet so many like minded people and make good contacts for future business.

What shone through for me, listening and taking notes on all the speakers at the conference is you have to have a story. This will sell the brand, whether its about the background and where it stems from or the product itself and how its made.

2 great example of this are Finisterre and the Shackleton Brand both making product in Britain.

Finisterre built a brand around his core believes which were #British, surfing, and an environmental ethical angle, with this is mind he made his first woolen jumper for £100, he now has a big supply chain and manages a team of staff in Cornwall.

The Shackleton Brand – originated from Ernest Shackleton

In 2013 the Shackleton brand started out as a banjo manufacturer: opening the first production level banjo factory in Britain for more than 60 years.

We called out first instrument The Shackleton, in honour of the role which a banjo played in maintaining morale for the members of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition a century ago.

When the ship Endurance became trapped in the Antarctic pack ice for nine bleak months, the expedition’s company of 29 men were regularly entertained by meteorologist Leonard Hussey on his banjo.

The ship was ultimately crushed and sunk by the ice, leaving the whole party stranded on the ice floes. Knowing the importance of keeping spirits up as well as simple survival, Shackleton himself ordered that the banjo be rescued from the stricken ship, calling it “vital mental medicine”.

For two more years the banjo proved its value. After an epic adventure which has entered polar legend, Shackleton brought his men, and the banjo, home alive.

That story inspired us as we began to craft our first instruments, and it continued to do so as we developed Shackleton ales, then knitwear, then clothing.

Nearly all the products are made in Britain and now have  growing supply chain.

Words that shone out for me.. 

A great speaker from who made your pants, I thought I would share a few pointers with you

1 No one has a clue what they are doing.
2 Be honest on all levels
3 Be really open and willing to change
4 Ask your customers
5 No one is going to die – get perspective on what you are doing
6 Be brave
7 Know how and when to bend
8 Break your own rules..