The Story of Hollands Country Clothing by Holly Thomson: Part 1

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The Story of Hollands Country Clothing by Holly Thomson: Part 1

Holly Thomson Presents: Who is Hollands Country Clothing?

Everyone has a story, Hollands Country Clothing is no different. A person or brand’s unique stories form the foundation of our lives and our futures, like yours we are sure, mine certainly did.

My name is Holly Thomson and prior to the world’s events of 2020, that we need little reminding of, I founded and ran an independent, printed, country lifestyle magazine that focused on storytelling. Now, four years on I am an independent rural storyteller, commissioned by brands to tell their unique stories, just like that of Hollands Country Clothing. 

If you’re an existing customer of theirs, you’ll likely know this already, at their core, Hollands Country Clothing is a family business who are beyond proud to continue to supply a varied range of practical, affordable, and stylish country clothing and footwear to customers after over forty years.


Black and white photo of a farmer holding a baby in front of a stone cottage

 William Swindells (Left) with his Grandson & founder of HCC, Malcolm

The Roots of Hollands: A Family Legacy

As a family and business, they believe there should be no barrier to entry to the countryside. They have a product offering that has grown just a little from the handful of products that Malcom who is Matthew, Sarah, and Robert’s grandfather, launched with.

Today, the family-run business stocks over 80 industry-leading brands and is passionate about being able to offer something to everyone; whether you are looking for a ‘get-the-job-done’ pair of waterproofs for walking the dog, or a stylish, timeless tweed jacket for days out to be enjoyed in the field.

Hollands’ story is steeped in history, with many photos taken during the ‘early days’ which, until recently, were thought to have been lost to time. Their discovery prompted my appointment. This is part of a new series of the brand’s story which we together are looking forward to sharing with you.

Sarah Holland shares, "We've enjoyed keeping the tales of our relatives alive through the passing down of their exploits, Grandma Mavis (wife of founder Malcolm) recently discovered dozens of these old photographs of those halcyon days, which inspired us to share our story with you in a way we haven't until now.


Man and elderly lady holding a baby girl sitting on a bench in a back garden.

Right: Grandma Mavis, wife of founder Malcolm

Meet the Faces Behind the Brand: The Holland Family

Mavis is still very much at the heart of the family, the matriarch if you will, and is mother to Mark (Malcolm’s son) and grandmother to Matthew, Sarah, and Robert, all of whom run the Hollands Country Clothing as you’ve come to know it today. 

Matthew Holland, Managing Director: Father to the mini Hollands’ Arthur & Matilda and leader to his flock of hens. Matt left a very lucrative graduate scheme that had a lot of promising progression points, to join the business and help build it into what it looks like today, a huge risk. Though it looks to be paying off I’d say!

Sarah Holland, Director: A wearer of many hats from managing Customer Service to Email Marketing and Buying, Sarah’s role is versatile. I asked Sarah what her favourite thing about the countryside is, and she responded with the following, “The joy of watching the same views change across the seasons, we have a view of Kinder & the Peak District, right across to Manchester on the other side and the ‘changing portrait’ as Grandma Mavis calls it, is amazing to watch.”

Robert Coates, Director and Operations Manager: The captain of the warehouse ship. With an attention for detail, you’ll either find him in the warehouse or at home building and painting impressive figures. Robert is a real homeboy who loves spending time with his wife and daughter on the farm.



Two men and a woman sitting on and leaning against a staircase of a stone cottage

   Black and white photo of a family of six people standing at the door step of a stone cottage. 

Mark Holland, Director and Co-Founder: Uncle to Matt, Sarah and Robert, Mark’s own story with the brand has humble beginnings with frost-bitten, early mornings at the markets setting up the Hollands stalls with his father, to watching the growth, challenges, changes and the many nuances of building a family business first hand. Mark is an incredibly well-read, lover of history, art, and music. He never misses his morning walk around the farmland or visiting his mother Mavis every night for a cuppa and chat. 

Man in a brown long waterproof coat standing in front of a farm gate

Mark Holland, co-founder of Hollands Country Clothing.

Until Next Time…

In our next instalment, we will explore the early days and the emergence of Hollands Country Clothing into the brand you now know and shop with today. 

I’ll leave you with this for now: Wellies were the first of the products for Hollands, with wax jackets and overalls quickly following suit. The product range began to expand and the business went from strength to strength, but not without a few notable detours; including the purchase of a job lot of army surplus shirts, which turned out to be skirts - always take your reading glasses to an auction!

If you’re not already, I’d love to invite you to follow Hollands Country Clothing over on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes content or click here to browse their latest arrivals


A woman with a brown dog posing next to a dark green 4x4 vehicle.

Holly Thomson, a former In The Country Magazine founder and livery yard manager, calls the beautiful South Downs home. Alongside Emma Warren, she co-manages the Countrywoman’s Guide magazine, a platform dedicated to uncovering the hidden treasures of rural life and fostering a community of shared wisdom and empowerment. As a self-confessed cowboy boot-wearing copywriter, Holly champions the ethos of shared wisdom, slow living, and the enduring power of storytelling.

1 comment

Joanne Ellis
Joanne Ellis

What a beautiful read.

Please do continue to write and post the lives of this hardworking family who ooze passion and commitment in what they do

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