Derek Crowson set up Crowson Fabrics 35 years ago and now their high quality fabrics and furnishings produced in Uckfield are sold in High Streets across the country and all over the world.
More than 40 people are employed at the head office at Uckfield, in East Sussex, and another 40 are based in places such as Russia, Australia, Spain, Italy and Holland, distributing furniture and fabrics for the business.
A fresh injection of cash by chairman and founder Derek Crowson has seen £750,000 invested in new collections, new products and new cloths in 2013.
The aim is to make the most of a revival of interest in texture and vibrancy of colour in the furniture industry and to spread the company’s reach to suit all levels of the market and price bands.
Derek Crowson likes to see all his staff involved in making the finer business decisions. They are encouraged to voice their opinions on the latest fabrics and designs, contributing ideas when photo shoots are organised and helping to find the props to create the right setting.
Managing director Chris Worrall said Derek Crowson, who founded the business 35 years ago is still, at the age of 75, involved on a daily basis and pushing to develop it further.
Mr Worrall added: “Derek Crowson himself has overseen our search across the world for new products and cloths to showcase our new designs. We are now working with new mills to create different price points for a far greater diversification within the home furnishing market.”
Many staff are long-serving and some of them are pictured here with Chris Worrall.
From the left are Debbie Parry, who joined three years ago, Gemma Sherlow-Gray, 18 years, Dawn Stevens 19 years and Jane Clark 32 years. David Cottell, back, has been with the business for 33 years.
Jane said: “The changes over the years have been amazing. When I first started we were using typewriters, with records kept on paper. Now we have a huge computer system.
“I enjoy talking to Derek Crowson about the company’s day-to-day business needs and about new product development. It’s really nice to see new investment going into the business and see new things happening.”