Hollands Country Clothing - Our Brand's Story
Lets start at the Beginning…..
We have all heard the saying from 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, by far, 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.
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 everchanging world can bring new ideas but ruin a centuries old way of life.
Diversification has always been a way of supporting farming and this is where Hollands Country Clothing begins.
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 and maybe if he tried selling wellingtons, 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 and now a Director of the company Mark Holland.
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.
In 2014 Matthew Holland (Marks eldest nephew) joined the business. Gaining a Bsc Econ in International Politics and Military History Matthew went on to join McDonald’s graduate program. The process starts with an intensive 18-week programme giving graduates all the background knowledge they need to move into job-based training. McDonald's Trainee Business Management programme then offers graduates everything they need to build a career in management - first-hand experience, the chance to develop interpersonal skills and industry specific knowledge.
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.
After two years with McDonalds 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 in Medieval Studies and was considering a PhD to become a lecturer, but both realised it was time to put their careers to one side and help the family business wherever they could.
Long hours and late nights have culminated in Hollands Country Clothing now employing eight full time members of staff from a range of backgrounds and ages.
Matthew is now Managing Director and business overseer, developing the business year on year to continue growth. His enthusiasm for the business runs through the core of the company and is quite infectious.
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 a Company Director was recently promoted to Director of Operations.
Jenny is our Warehouse Manager and Mike is our Warehouse Supervisor
Josh, Sam, John, Ben and Lucas are our lovely Warehouse Assistants
We have Karen who is our Warehouse Assistant/Administrative Assistant
Daphne/Me Administrative Assistant and content creation.
So that is the current team. As you can see all our directors have a hands-on role within the company ensuring this family run business is exactly that for years to come.
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 even bigger.
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, hears to another 45 years of happiness.