Founded in 1982, Abbey England is one of the market leaders amongst equestrian wholesale suppliers and supplies over 12,500 products online. Not content with just supplying Saddlers, Harness and Rug makers, Abbey England also supply specialist metal work for the fashion, motor and refrigeration markets. This family run business is proud to support a multitude of manufacturing, commercial and leisure businesses in both the UK and abroad.
Which solicitors do you use at Glaisyers and how do you rate our services?
Abbey England is a diverse business which has, over the years, acquired business and property, this structure directs us to Julian Bond regarding corporate acquisitions and shareholder agreements. Abbey now employs 60 people over 5 sites and is managed on all levels by 7 members of the same family with 4 members of the next generation working alongside their parents. Sarah Young helps us on all matters related to employment. They both take away the stress when decisions need making and are always there on the end of the phone.
What are the biggest challenges you face in growing your business and maintaining profits?
The biggest challenge in maintaining the business through the recession was to keep manufacturing going in the saddlery town of Walsall. To be the only British maker of brass buckles and brass locks requires a large workforce and constant investment in plant and machinery; leaving increased profits difficult to achieve but the opportunities to market our story are endless.
What is your greatest achievement in business and if so, how?
Our greatest achievement in business is to receive a Royal Warrant from H.M. The Queen to supply saddlery workshop materials and maintain that distinction for nearly 20 years. Personal and business life often become so entwined that I cannot see the join, so a personal highlight might be to be invited to become a liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Saddlers or for my children to want to join the family business even after achieving their degrees.
Do you find social media assists your business and if so, how?
Yes we find that social media has assisted Abbey and is a very quick way of spreading knowledge about our business and its aims and objectives. For me, Twitter and Facebook just make me realise that I am getting older but our marketing team assures me they are working!
Where do you see Abbey England in 20 years times?
In 20 years, Abbey will still be a family owned and run manufacturing business, concentrating on UK produced goods and still looking after its employees, customers and suppliers on a personal level.
What are your passions away from the business?
I use the weekends to clear my head with gardening, when the weather permits, and walking the dog around Cheshire and Derbyshire, in any weather unfortunately; at least as far as Purdey will allow me to take her…
If you were chancellor, what single change would you make to help improve the economy and/or your business?
If I was chancellor I would find some way of turning the clock back so that this country could continue to manufacture what it needs rather than having to buy abroad, losing jobs and profit. Surely having everyone working around the country solves every other problem? And if I can’t find a time machine I will simply try to keep our little manufacturing world alive, thriving and hopefully expanding.