The story behind the ‘Made By’ label | written by Katrina Cole, Design and Creative Director at Gushlow & Cole
It all started when I happened upon a skirt in our fancy dress cupboard. It was a beautiful, vintage, three quarter length, full circle skirt in bright red satin.
Having recently set up the Gushlow & Cole workshop in my Dad’s garage, (this must have been a good 20 years ago) I took the skirt into our workshop to make a quick alteration before I wore it to a fancy dress party. When I undid the zip, I noticed the unusual label inside. It said ‘made by Barry and the girls in the sample room’. Coming from my background, I thought this was just wonderful – finally someone had recognised the people behind the product!
I have always believed that machinists are the unsung heroes of the fashion industry. Emma and I had only just stopped working in the machine room at my Dad’s factory. So we knew first hand what it takes to become a highly skilled machinist, an ‘artisan’ able to work out samples and to precisely sew to the exacting standards of luxury fashion. Some women had been honing their skills for decades in our family factory. So, if Barry’s place was anything like ours, I knew the girls in the machine room would be like family to Barry and feel really proud to be mentioned in a label. After all, a good machinist always sews pride and love into their work!
From that moment on, and after a lot of thought about how we could somehow replicate this pride and show our customers how much love goes into making our products, we came up with the slogan ‘Made with Love’…who knew how much that one would catch on.
Our new slogan was sewn into every Gushlow & Cole piece and shipped to department stores worldwide. The only problem was, after a few years, it was catching on rather too much! In 2013 when I spotted it on the bottom of a stack of plastic boxes made in China, enough was enough! We needed to bring our labelling back to being personal. To go one step further, we had to refocus the artisan make back into our products.
We decided the only way we could be authentic about our heritage, show passion for English make and to celebrate the skilled craftsmen and craftswomen behind our products was to sew their name label alongside Gushlow & Cole. Hence the ‘Made By’ label was born.
What better way could we let our customers know that we make very specialist items, which are not mass produced, by highly skilled craftspeople. Just like Barry, our makers are like family. We want people to know their story and to understand what skill goes into each and every one of our pieces.
(Some of our lovely girls at the G&C workshop at hilltop meadow in Kent, England).
We hope you enjoy finding out who made your Gushlow & Cole…and if you don’t know, just look in the label and meet our makers.