Border Embroideries creates new jobs to cope with growing online demand

A Greenlaw-based uniform business has nearly doubled its workforce thanks to being awarded a business grant – and changing shopping habits amid Covid –19.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 24th July 2020, 7:30 am
Family-run Border Embroideries has nearly doubled its workforce thanks to a big increase in online orders.

Border Embroideries has added nearly 80 temporary staff to its current 80 permanent employees due to demand for its school wear, uniform and workwear.

The business was awarded a grant from the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund from South of Scotland Enterprise in May.

Set up in 1989, the company is a true family affair, with mum and dad, Shirley-Anne and Billy, working alongside their three children, William, Aynsley and Ross.

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Ross Smillie, Border Embroideries systems manager, said: “It was a huge relief when we were awarded the grant as it has allowed us to build on what was already there.

“There has been a massive move from shops to online, and because we’ve been able to meet demand it has really helped the growth of the business.

“There was a lot of uncertainty around school uniforms, when we didn’t know if schools were going back.

“Now though, things have settled down and we’re delighted to be able to meet customer demand.

“We’re so grateful for the support we’ve been given historically and of late.”

Border Embroideries’ online school wear sales in June have doubled compared to last year.

This is because its website has been able to cope with demand of people moving online to shop and also an increase in the public looking to support local businesses.

The head office and factory based in Greenlaw has been a hive of activity with staff taking on night shifts to complete orders.

Ross continued: “The plan is to change the model of the retail stores slightly, so we can provide workwear and teamwear all year round, as well as school uniform.

“We have been pleasantly surprised at the level of sales, which we were not expecting.

“We’re very grateful, especially right now – I guess we’re one of the lucky ones.”

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, chairman of South of Scotland Enterprise, said he was delighted to hear that the funding Border Embroideries received had made a significant difference to the success and growth of the business.

He added: “We understand this has been a hugely challenging time for many small and medium-sized businesses across the South of Scotland, and as the enterprise agency for the South of Scotland we are committed to doing everything we can to provide support wherever it is needed.

“I personally look forward to seeing Border Embroideries prosper, and I thank them for their individual contribution to their community.”