In 1948 when Owen Barry started his leather, suede and sheepskin accessories business, manufacturing was a cornerstone of British industry and the main trade in his hometown of Street, Somerset was leather tanning. When cheap imports started flooding the market in the 1980s, the company’s future looked bleak and after a spell in receivership, his daughter Cindi Barnstable, along with other family members, stepped up and bought back the business. The company had a decision to make, either give up or find new customers in new markets. Owen Barry’s export journey had begun.
This Case Study provides a warts and all analysis of how the family-owned and run business has continued to grow over the past 70 years – entering new markets; innovating its products; collaborating with other brands; securing support from Govt agencies; moving into e-commerce; and sticking to its principles. It is loyal to its roots and its workforce – nurturing the skilled labour it needs for excellent quality products, and not being driven purely by volume.
Part of Somerset’s traditional manufacturing sector that continues to innovate.
Read the full story on the Export to Growth website here.