A young Yorkshire entrepreneur, who specialises in workwear, uniforms and promotional clothing, is hiring new staff and expanding his business premises.
AJ Swinbank, 24, founded 121workwear 18 months ago to provide bespoke workwear and protective clothing for companies across the UK.
The company, which is based in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, now employs six people and is about to invest £100,000 to treble the size of its production unit and quadruple its production facility.
The investment, which includes screen printing facilities and a new sales offices, should lead to the employment of 10 extra staff during the next 12 months, Mr Swinbank said.
Mr Swinbank, the son of racehorse trainer Ann Duffield, studied at Newcastle University and won the North East Local Business Accelerators (LBA) competition at the age of 22.
He said he was “exceptionally proud” of what the company had achieved so far but added that there was no room for complacency.
He said: “Our story began in the fashion industry, starting and running a successful menswear clothing brand.
“This experience opened many doors and we decided to diversify into personal and bespoke clothing solutions for businesses, using our network of manufacturers across Turkey and the Middle East.”
He added: “This resulted in the creation of 121Workwear, offering business of all sizes a personal, professional and affordable service and catering for all their clothing needs.
“We now offer a full service from start to finish, with an in-house design team and 15,000 products in stock, supported by our embroidery and print services.
“Our purpose-built, two-storey production department in Leyburn, which is trebling in size, features state-of-the-art embroidery and printing machinery, enabling us to produce up to 2,000 garments a week.
“We also have a large stock holding warehouse, in-house design team and dedicated sales office, all based on site.
“In addition we offer, as part of our managed accounts department, bespoke design and a dedicated account manager.”
121Workwear produces all types of clothing, from T-shirts to fleeces, from footwear to hooded tops and blazers, for permanent use or one-off promotions. There is no minimum order and the business works with companies of all sizes across the UK.
It now has more than 500 clients including York Racecourse, Wensleydale Creamery, Goal Soccer Centres and jockey Frankie Dettori.
England and Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has also supported the business.
Mr Swinbank said: “Obviously our main focus is on companies, but I do work for personal contacts.”
He added: “I have devoted the last 18 months of my life to getting this business off the ground and last year we beat all our targets. I would urge any young people to go for it.
“I firmly believe that if you are prepared to work hard you can do anything.
“I am especially proud of creating secure jobs and opportunities for young people in the Leyburn and Wensleydale area, boosting the local economy.
“As the UK economy rebalances itself, with a growing emphasis on the private sector, it is up to companies such as mine to invest in people and create jobs.”