Ellis & Co Case Study: Tweedmill Textiles

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Tweedmill Textiles is a genuine “Best of British” success story.

The company produces in the region of 1,000 different products including throws, blankets, picnic rugs, bags and tweed luggage. Coming soon is a range of products for pets.

The last three years have seen growth of 20%, 20% and 23.5%. Turnover this year will be close on £5million and around a third of the company’s revenue comes from export markets including Japan, France, Germany and the United States.

Today the company is led by 23-year-old Bart Ryan-Beswick, who took the reins of the family business last year following the death of his mother Jackie after a courageous battle against cancer.

Towards the end of 2014, Tweedmill moved from Denbigh to new premises on Castle Park Industrial Estate, Flint. The company went from 25,000 sq. ft. of space to 45,000 sq. ft. providing the room it needed now and for future growth.

Robert Ellis, Principal at Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants, has provided the firm with strategic business support for a long time and played a key role in the move to Flint.

Bart said: “Ellis & Co along with our in-house accountant Robert Brown have helped to lay the foundations for the continued strategic growth of the company.”

This has included the creation of a holding company, Tweedmill Holdings Ltd, and two subsidiaries Tweedmill Textiles Ltd (the trading company) and Swept Property Services Ltd (which owns the Castle Park factory).

The relocation has coincided with a significant increase in the Tweedmill workforce. The office team has increased from five to 12 while there are almost 40 working in the factory.

Bart is supported in the business by his 21-year-old brother Warwick, who is responsible for sales and business development, while their father Robert remains hands-on on the factory floor. Other key members of the management team are Charlotte Kempson (Sales Manager), Lesley Davies (Accounts Manager) and Dawn Hughes (Production Manager).

Bart started working at Tweedmill at 13 in his school holidays, although his first love was horse racing.

He says: “I wanted to be a jockey but I ended up being too tall! After that, I was always going to come into the family business.

Tweedmill Textiles“I managed to learn most things about the running of the business before mother died with the exception of the finance side. I am very fortunate to have the support of Mr Brown and Ellis & Co.

“It is daunting running a business like Tweedmill, but I have always played a lot of sport and like a challenge.

“Our Board meetings are relatively informal. We all get on and my brother, dad and I will discuss business at home over dinner.”

Bart partly attributes the strong growth of the business to the British fascination with so called “Scandi living” along with increasing interest from abroad. The company’s largest overseas market is Japan but it is also building the number of distributors in the US and elsewhere.

“We have undergone massive change in the business in the last couple of years so we are now looking for consolidated growth. We would like to become an £8million turnover business within five years.

“I love the innovation side of our business and the feedback we have had to samples for our range of pet products has been phenomenal. We will be launching the range during the summer.

“I am fortunate to be supported by some very good people both inside and outside of the business. We would not have achieved the success we have without the support of the team at Ellis & Co. They have been with us a long time and have been very good for us.”