After just two years of trading, emerging British brand, The Stitch Society, has been awarded Small Business of the Year at the Keighley Business Awards.
An ambassador of Yorkshire’s textile heritage, the company designs and manufactures premium, luxury work aprons to artisans around the globe. Often using reclaimed fabrics recovered from former mills, founder Charlotte Meek has tapped into a seam of forgotten fabric remnants from Yorkshire’s weaving past to successfully create a commercially viable and thriving modern business.
Appropriately based at the world-famous former textile giant’s premises, Salts Mill at Saltaire, the company’s product range has grown steadily since 2015. From aprons through to stylish bags, The Stitch Society designs are both practical and stylish. With Susie and Martha proving to be best sellers, each apron design is given a name nostalgically reminiscent of nineteenth century factory girls.
Committed to fostering the resurgence of the British textile industry and skills of those former workers, The Stitch Society is today playing an integral part in addressing the current skills shortage in the region; collaborating with Keighley College to launch their Textile Academy. Charlotte has also been a speaker at key industry events this year including Make it British’s ‘Meet the Manufacturer’, and taking part in Selvedge Fairs, The Festival of Making, and The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair.
The Keighley Business Awards have been running since 2013, showcasing the very best companies in the area championing a diverse range of products, services and innovation, with The Stitch Society shortlisted alongside strong competition for the title of Small Business of the Year.
Continuing the tradition for British excellence in textiles, it was the care and attention to detail and branding that led Charlotte to be shortlisted for, and to clinch the award. “I am delighted and honoured to have won”, said Charlotte. “We are proud that our business has been recognised in this way; all our products are made in Yorkshire from UK sourced fabrics and it’s exciting to be bringing another Yorkshire brand to a worldwide marketplace.”
With more strategic growth scheduled, including a selection of curated gift-sets planned for the Christmas market and an expansion of The Stitch Society patterns range to service growing demand from sewing enthusiasts, Charlotte anticipates a busy year ahead with further interest in The Stitch Society following the Small Business of the Year win.