Five questions for… Susan Collinge, director at Swaine Adeney Brigg

We are a British manufacturer and retailer of handcrafted leather goods and umbrellas. We serve a niche high-end luxury market designing attaché cases for film stars. Our Brigg umbrellas have long been a favourite of the Royal Family. Our branding is discreet for the discerning – the quality of our British craftsmanship speaks for itself.

What’s your greatest achievement?

From James Bond to Kingsman, a modern spy comedy, Swaine Adeney Brigg is famous for representing the style of the quintessential English gentleman in the British film industry. We are proud to have played a pivotal role in the “Brand Britain” movement, attracting customers from all over the world.

What has been your biggest challenge?

We had several systems in place looking after everything from order generation to tracking. Each had different, often conflicting, processes. The challenge was to streamline and integrate our systems without disrupting business. We have looked closely at our supply chain with the help of FedEx. By aligning ourselves with a global logistics group, we can now ship to customers near and far as soon as the final stitch is sewn.

What are your plans for hitting your targets this year?

We’ve overcome the challenge of streamlining our processes, and we are in a great position to establish our presence further and look more strategically at current and growing markets. We have our eye on expanding into China, and bolstering our ties with current markets, with a focus on e-commerce and growing our social-media presence. We will look closely at our marketing strategies to ensure our brand’s voice is compatible with these new markets.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give fellow entrepreneurs?

Good communication and delivering the goods you have promised are key. In addition, collaboration with customers, clients, other businesses and your shipping provider can drive business growth and provide an opening to new mindsets and opportunities.