Cllr Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council with Sarah Taylor and Ian Taylor, joint
Jamie Hardesty

Entrepreneurial husband and wife duo to expand Washington custom clothing business

Woven Inc, a custom clothing firm run by husband and wife team Sarah and Ian Taylor, is expanding after investing in new equipment.

The Washington-based company provides screen printing, embroidery, bespoke clothing, transfers and garment finishing service for a huge range of sectors from fashion to work wear, including a recent contract win to work with Hamleys Toy Store worldwide.

Woven Inc, which was set up on the Pattinson Industrial Estate in September 2012, has now taken delivery of a new screen printing machine, creating jobs and looking to add to its working space.

The company received a Regional Growth Fund grant towards the cost of the new equipment, which will increase its capacity.

Woven Inc currently employs four production workers and four office workers but as a result of the new kit, it has created a new sales position and aims to take on a second salesperson and a further two production staff by the end of the year.

Woven Inc worked with Sunderland City Council’s business investment team to grow the company.

Ian Taylor, Woven Inc’s joint managing director, said: “The City Council’s help was amazing. They came out to see us, talked through the options and looked at ideas of how they could help us. They are pretty positive we are going to grow and expand and take on more staff.”

Joint managing director, Sarah Taylor, said: “The new fully-automated screen printing machine will help us to expand and bring more business in.

“We currently have one automatic machine and two Manuel machines but the new machine will help us to print bigger items, work more quickly and improve the quality of our products. It’s a really good boost.

“With screen printing there can be peaks and troughs, with busy periods during the summer and before Christmas when people want promotional goods. But so far this year, we haven’t had a quiet month and business is consistent. It’s good to see it levelling out.

“We are now seeing how we can expand our current unit, perhaps by adding a mezzanine floor to allow for more staff, or whether we should look for a bigger unit on the same estate.”

Sunderland City Council provides advice, guidance and can help businesses find the right funding towards the cost of essential equipment to help them to expand.

Sunderland City Council leader, Councillor Paul Watson, said: “Woven Inc is a great example of an ambitious young company with great prospects for the future.

“We were delighted to help them tap into the Regional Growth funding which enabled this investment and we are looking forward to seeing the business grow as a result.”

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