On June 21st 2001, Austen Pickles started the business in the attic of his home in Shipley, West Yorkshire.
Within a month he was joined by Ingrid Johnstone. The pair worked in the small cramped office surrounded by samples and cuttings for almost twelve months.
The business was not focussed entirely on ladies wear. In fact they were happy to make anything they could.
The very first order Buxton Pickles received was 800 boys Endurance suits for Ted Baker.
By mid 2002 the business had out-grown the Pickles family’s attic and relocated half a mile into a large open plan office at Salts Mill, Saltaire.
This iconic Victorian mill is home of David Hockney’s largest collection and is in a World Heritage Site.
Buxton Pickles needed a presence in the design-led ladies wear market and the new location helped to raise its profile.
The team grew slowly from two to ten over the next five years as production migrated from Czech to Macedonia and then to a factory in Bulgaria.
In order to provide the best service for customers and grow the business further, Buxton Pickles needed to deliver proto and fit samples quicker than the competition.
Buxton Pickles S.R.O was established in a small factory in Prostejov, Czech Republic. Three technical designers, a garment technologist and a team of experienced machinists were recruited by Alice Galickova, the new Sample Line Manager.
At the same time, Bulgarian production continued to grow and the company also successfully produced orders in China and India.
In 2012 the business moved from Salts Mill to beautiful offices in a large converted terrace house in the historic spa town of Ilkley.
112 Bolling Road (which has a great sandwich shop next door but one) has three floors – one each for Production, Design and Sales/Finance.
In 2012 turnover grew to beyond £10 million for the first time. At that point the business was completely focussed on ladies wear production in Bulgaria for the best UK retailers including Jigsaw, LKBennett, Paul Smith, Whistles, Hobbs, Next, Pure Collections, Aquascutum, Jaeger….
Later that year the business bought the property next door to ensure that should it be necessary, there was room to grow.
In 2016 the two buildings were connected on each floor to almost double the office space and add a new larger showroom.
2016 was a very challenging year but this company knows how to deal with challenges. As the UK faces an uncertain future outside the EU, Buxton Pickles is putting even more investment and effort into people, quality, product development, customer relationships, sourcing, new markets, speed of response.
There is a broader product range encompassing softer and more formal tailored product across both womenswear and menswear.
There are now 3 production routes –
Eastern Europe, China and Vietnam – offering different volume options, price points and speed to market.
The business has recently taken its first order for export outside the EU. Reliance on the common market seems narrow minded now.
Turnover in 2017 is up 20%. Our people are lovely, very talented and they work hard. Our factories and suppliers are committed and focussed on quality and service.
And we are backing winners in the market place. Our customers are the ones who can see beyond the next 2 years, they are the leaders and we will do whatever we can to support their progress.