January’s Around Town networking event was hosted by Owen Scott Tailors, Huddersfield’s finest menswear specialist. On Thursday 25th January, local business owners crammed into the town-centre shop. Surrounded by Scott and Andy’s collection of fabulous suits, shirts and shoes; our first networking event of 2018 got off to a great start!
Our first networking event of 2018 was hosted by Owen Scott Tailors, a bespoke menswear tailor based in Huddersfield. The event was well-attended by Huddersfield businesspeople, although Scott’s more famous clientele were nowhere to be seen!
Guests were invited to mingle in the bustling atmosphere as they were served a selection of tapas and wine courtesy of Jax Bar & Tapas. Located just across the street from Owen Scott Tailors, Jax Bar & Tapas are a relatively new addition to the Huddersfield food and drink scene. Their new King Street venue opened in September 2017, following on from the success of their original restaurant in Slaithwaite. The restaurant serves a selection of tapas-style dishes with a modern twist. For the networking event, guests were served a delicious array of pork and beef sliders, olive and cheese skewers and halloumi fries. Not exactly for the more calorie-conscious attendees, but who doesn’t love deep-fried cheese?
As our group of Huddersfield business owners were getting to know each other, musician Jez Joseph added to the atmosphere by playing improvised jazz on his saxophone. If this wasn’t enough, we also had card tricks and magic from entertainer Luke Lenihan, who really knows how to work his audience!
Scott told the story about how he named the business after his son, Owen, who was his inspiration for starting the business. He told an attentive audience how he gave up work to look after his son, and they moved into a council house. He had to try to make ends meet, and so took a part-time role at a nationwide chain of suit hire shops, before working for another local tailors. After seven years of cutting fabric, measuring and honing his tailoring skills, Scott made the leap and decided to set up on his own.
Scott’s business has gone from strength to strength over the past decade. They now have a wide range of clients all over the country, including famous Yorkshire sports stars Amir Kahn and Jason Robinson, not to mention the host of one of our previous events, Olly North from Rosenbauer UK!
When asked what it was like to work with Amir Kahn, Scott replied, “What you see is what you get with Amir, after he was in I’m A Celebrity… the public got to see what he’s really like.” The boxer took Scott along to Las Vegas with him in May 2016, where he watched Kahn fight Canelo.
Owen Scott Tailors focusses mainly on high-quality, bespoke suits, which are hand-made exactly to his clients’ specifications. Scott and Andy have now introduced their Orange Label range of ready-to-wear garments. Scott is hoping to work with national distributors such as Flannels, and other luxury fashion retailers, to stock his suits. He’s also looking to appeal more to the online market for Orange Label.
“Why the orange?” came a question from the audience.
Scott replied with a smile, “Oh well that was my wife’s fault actually. I had the logo designed but I knew that there was something missing. Adding a line of colour was all it needed to stand out and help it look more professional. Orange is my wife’s favourite colour, she had her bridesmaids wear orange for our wedding. As soon as the designer added the orange line, it just worked.”
Scott went on to tell attendees how he’s planning an Orange Label range of shoes for 2018. These will be handcrafted leather, similar to well-known brands such as Loake.
The final question came from Joanne Clendinning of Twenty Twenty Consulting Ltd, who asked, “What happens with difficult clients who don’t know what they want?”.
Scott replied confidently, “I just tell them to trust me. Give me an idea of what you want, and I’ll do the rest.”
When the question and answer session came to a close, there was a final speech from Simon Parton of Huddersfield Fine Worsteads Ltd who supply high-quality fabric to Owen Scott Tailors. Simon told the story of Huddersfield’s textile industry heritage, highlighting the importance of the weather conditions and the minerals in Yorkshire water. It was interesting to hear about how the processes involved in making fabric have changed little over time. However, the machinery used has become more advanced, allowing finer fabric with higher thread counts to be produced.
After the speeches, guests continued to enjoy fine wine and nibbles, before moving across to Jax Bar & Tapas or heading home.
All-in-all, it was a brilliant evening, giving local business owners an opportunity to connect and to hear from Scott’s experience. One of the great things about Around Town is the variety of industry sectors that are represented at these events, from established solicitors such as Eaton Smith to not-for-profits like Huddersfield Live. On behalf of Around Town we’d like to thank you all for coming along, and we’d love to hear about successful business connections you’ve made through attending these events.
The next event will be hosted by Valli Opticians in March, and we’ll send out more details nearer the time. If you want to stay up to date with all of the Around Town events, you can sign up to our mailing list.
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