Grenson Factory Tour
Aphrodite recently had the privilege of receiving an invitation for a guided tour of the famous Grenson factory with a cheeky interview with the Owner and Creative Director Tim Little. Situated in Northampton, the most recent premises have been occupied by the brand since 2013, after the move in 1895, when the then owner William Green and his team had outgrown the previous premises. Needless to say, the new state of the art factory is a modern, warm, clean and efficient move for the company.
The factory is situated in a modern industrial estate and has all the hallmarks of a working factory. With the classic metal structure to the building, the front section has been given a wooden clad exterior, which has started to age beautifully while the Grenson branding and logo can be seen in contrasting red to the front – a simple representation of the brand and the products they create.
Tim Little interview
Upon arrival, we were greeted by some cheery staff then escorted straight up to meet Tim Little, the current Owner and Creative Director of the brand. Tim bought out the previous owners, the Green family in 2010 and since then has evolved the business, opening more stores, adding high end accounts to their books, which in turn has Kickstarted their expansion into the highest quality wholesale distribution, and entered the digital world with an e-commerce website.
Aphrodite had the pleasure of interviewing Tim in his office and creative space. The office space had been designed with an open plan, free flowing feel with plenty of windows, which allows Tim to overlook the entire factory. Below shows a teaser of the Interview.
Factory floor tour
We were given our guided tour by a lovely chatty man called Roger Tiffnail. Roger has worked at Grenson for 35 years and has worked on all parts of the production process, but his current role is a pattern cutter. So who better to give us a tour, all questions we asked was answered without a second thought and he is a credit to the company. Thanks Roger!
The below video shows a behind the scenes look at the shoe making process at the Grenson factory.
One of the first things to hit us when we entered the factory floor was the noise and smell, a mixture of leather, chemicals greeted us. The full factory is one massive open floor space, split into sections for different procedures, prepping, assembling and finishing. Each section then has a number of sub sections, making the whole process a team effort.
- Machine closing
- Welted (Triple welts)
- Cork filling
- Neoprene cementing
- Sole layering
- Gentleman’s corner (cut to the heel)
- Trim fore part
- Edge colouring
- Bottom scouring
The factory only make Triple welt styles and produce on average 30-50 pairs of shoes and boots a week. All parts of every shoe made in the Northampton factory are made at the factory, no parts are made in other countries and shipped in, so each and every shoe is 100% made in England, which is a massive selling point for the British brand. The factory also offer a repair service, with repairs on all types of Grensons being made here from new soles, to polishing to full services to bring some old favorites back to life.
Everyone at Aphrodite would just like to say a massive thank you to Grenson for giving us the opportunity to come and pester you for a day, especially Tim Little and Roger Tuffnail.