Hollands Country Clothing - Our Brand's Story
Let's start from the Beginning
We have all heard the saying that small acorns grow mighty oak trees, but it takes years for that to happen. In 1978 we planted our first acorn and now 43 years later our oak tree is growing strong and mighty, although not the biggest tree in the forest. We are proud of how far we have come, where we are going, and grateful to all of you who are taking the journey with us.
Our story started with a need for clothing made with farmers in mind. Diversification has always been a way of supporting farming and this is where Hollands Country Clothing begins. Farming has always been one of the toughest ways of life. Harshness of weather can crush a crop; disease can wipe out a herd and an ever changing world can bring new ideas but ruin a centuries old way of life. And we saw a need in supporting this life.
Our Brand is Built on Diversity in Agriculture
Malcolm Holland was a fourth-generation farmer who realised that selling hay at Chelford Agricultural Centre would never make enough money to support his family’s needs. He decided that maybe if he tried selling wellington's, he would be able to supplement his income. As this went well Malcolm decided to add other items to his range such as overalls and wax coats. This went from strength to strength, although not without a few minor faux pas such as the time he thought he was buying a bulk order of Army surplus shirts which turned out to be skirts!!!
Eventually the clothing sales started to eclipse the farming and so Malcom focused his efforts on the markets adding an extra pair of hands to the business in the form of his son, now a Director of the company, Mark Holland.
Selling to the Local Community to Selling Online
Being a younger man and a new generation when an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease caused devastation throughout the industry and caused all the markets to close their doors as a precaution against the spread, Mark decided to build a website and put Hollands Country Clothing onto the World Wide Web.
In the early 2000’s the internet was very, very new and we were still learning Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Certain small grants were available to help people learn this new wizardry and realising this could be the way forward Mark applied and was accepted onto a Friday afternoon course.
Mark studied hard and took all that he had learned back to the farmhouse in Disley where he began to slowly build the website believing that if he made as much in one week as he did in one day on the market it would be worth doing.
Eighteen months later the website was good to go. The first sale was for a pair of floral pink wellingtons and eventually the sales started to trickle in until the time Mark had to give up the markets and concentrate full time on the on-line sales.
The Next Generation’s Joined Hollands
In 2014 Matthew Holland (Mark's eldest nephew) joined the business. Gaining a Bsc Econ in International Politics and Military History Matthew went on to join a graduate program.
From this new found knowledge and experience Matthew started to realise the potential of the business going on back home. He could use the skills he had learnt to rediscover Hollands Country Clothing and drive through change to establish it as a market leader.
Matthew moved back home to set about initiating change, the website was updated, and new brands were brought on board. With drive, ambition, and forward-thinking Matthew started to move the business forward slowly but surely.
With online sales growing at a pace Matthew soon needed help. Mark was focused on the website design and enquiries, Matthew was picking, packing, ordering, and taking delivery of new stock as well as several other things associated with a growing business.
Over the next five years the business grew exponentially. Matthew’s sister and brother joined the company as orders started to rise. Sarah was working as a nurse and Robert had just finished a Masters, but both realised it was time to switch things up and help the family business jump to the next level.
The Future is Looking Bright for Hollands Country Clothing
Hard work, long hours and late nights have culminated in Hollands Country Clothing now employing new members of staff from a variety of backgrounds. We have employed a range of people for different roles. These include:
- Matthew is now Managing Director, developing the business year on year to continue growth.
- Mark is a Company Director and our Marketing Manager.
- Sarah is also a Company Director, her roles include Senior Buyer and Product and Content Creator.
- Robert is a Company Director and was recently promoted to Director of Operations.
We are growing as we welcome new brands
2020 was the biggest year yet for Hollands but with new brands joining us this year such as Ariat, HÄRKILA and Mammut®. We are expecting 2021 to be an even bigger year.
As Mark Holland said when asked to sum up Hollands Country Clothing “We like to do a good job, which keeps our customers happy, which in turn keeps us happy”. So, here's to another 45 years of happiness.