054 – Peter Philips, Abbey England – Growing the UK Leather and Saddlery Industry
In this episode I interview Peter Philips of Abbey England about his family business based in Walsall – the heart of the saddlery industry. Peter gives some great insights, not just into the leather and saddlery industry, but into the UK manufacturing and supply industry in general.
There’s no other company quite like Abbey England. Originally set-up to supply the equestrian industry they have diversified over the years by taking on manufacturing businesses, who may otherwise have ceased trading or moved offshore; including a foundry, rubber moulding plant and leather finishers.
Abbey England are now a one-stop shop for all things involved in leather goods, supplying a diverse range of markets from fashion to the marine industry.
In this interview Peter discusses:
- Being a family business
- The manufacturing businesses they have taken on to retain skills in the UK
- How they’ve diversified to serve a variety of industries and extend their customer base
- How craftsmanship and processes are used to produce high quality products
- The strength of the leather and saddlery industry in Walsall