Company Name: Stopford & Wells Ltd
Interview Contact Name and Job Title: Michael Stopford – Director
Website URL: www.stopfordandwells.com
Social Media Links:
Facebook: Stopford & Wells
Number of outlets: Hopefully many stores in the year to come
Market(s): Luxury accessories for gentlemen that are handcrafted in the Cheshire region.
Modern Retail talks to Michael Stopford, Director of Stopford & Wells Ltd where you’ll find the most luxurious accessories a man can get.
MR: How do you aim to stand out as a brand?
MS: Inspired by the beauty of the Cheshire countryside and our love for classic design, quality and innovation. Stopford & Wells was established in 2014 by two friends Mikey Stopford and Phil Wells with a bright idea – to make the best men’s accessories you’ll ever own that are handcrafted in Cheshire only.
MR: How would you sum up your target customer?
MR: Why should people shop with you?
MS: We would like customers to follow our journey with us. Myself and Phil created Stopford & Wells Ltd a couple of years ago, so we are a brand-new company that are developing every day. We launched with Macclesfield silk ties but are extremely excited to announce that new products will be in our range very soon. We want our customers to be as excited as we are about our new products. Myself and Phil are two friends from Bramhall that studied at Bramhall high school and we are going to be telling a story to our customers as we develop.
MR: What do you want to do differently to your competitors?
MS: There is an awful lot of competition for clothing and accessories companies that are Made in Britain but not so many companies that are region specific like Stopford & Wells Ltd. We’re not trying to find the biggest manufacturers in Cheshire to help us, we are finding very small manufacturers with their own unique manufacturing techniques. We have the ability to manufacture products based on customer requirements. My wedding ties for example, I really like our Warford Silk tie which is Red, White and Blue on our site but I changed the colour ways to match the colour theme of the wedding. We are able to do this for anyone’s wedding or any other occasion.
MR: What challenges do you face as a business, and how do you aim to overcome them?
MS: When we first created in October 2014, our biggest challenge was to find the right manufacturers that could work with our designs. It has taken us until now to have our own designs that we will be introducing to the market very soon. Our long-term goal is to expand into an international brand that gents think of Stopford & Wells Ltd when they buy accessories to complete their outfit.
MR: How do you use technology/media/ecommerce to improve your offering?
MR: What do you love about your work/business/brand?
MS: Myself and Phil have a huge passion for Made in Britain. The main reason we created Stopford & Wells was to bring manufacturing back the UK instead of products being made abroad where the quality is poor.
Probably the biggest thing myself and Phil love about our brand is that we are representing our Family names – Michael Stopford & Phil Wells. When we were talking about names, we were sat at our local pub trying to think of something weird and wonderful but then the name just came out. We feel that the name Stopford & Wells is very suited for a clothing company. We also love our logo, Stag’s are very popular in Cheshire areas so we feel it works perfectly.
MR: What advantages/disadvantages does your location bring?
MS: I think the only disadvantage of our model of manufactured in Cheshire only is that we are limiting ourselves to the numbers of manufacturers.
MR: What are your growth aims for the next 12 months?
MS: Over the next 12 months we would like to increase our product range to at least 5 different products with several colour ways of each.
Our long-term goal is to create of our manufacturing plant in Cheshire where we can hire talented, driven personal to give them the chance to be involved in something very exciting.
MR: What advice would you give to a new retail start-up based on your experience?
MS: The main advice I would give to a new retail start up is to take your time and don’t launch before you are 100% ready. Also, a lot of research of different products and competition before you create your products.