Established in 1907 by our founder William Brown
W Brown International proudly has over 100 years of heritage and experience
Now based in Rushden, East Northamptonshire, UK, the business has always been owned by the Brown family of Northamptonshire
Read our full story below……
William Brown opened his saddler’s workshop in 1907 in the East Northamptonshire town of Wellingborough. Located on Sheep Street, a main the thoroughfare of Wellingborough, Williams developing skills and expertise quickly earned him a fantastic and well respected reputation. He soon brought his son Horace on board to help with the increasing demand and the business started to flourish, servicing and repairing leather equipment for the local farming and equestrian community.
In 1964, 19-year-old Nigel Brown (son of Horace) came into the business and due to his father’s ill health was soon handed full control. From day one Nigel knew the business had to move with the times and as fashion and travel trends boomed he decided to retail his own travel and fashion goods. Nigel set about finding manufacturers in both London & Manchester, collected stock himself and started selling from their Wellingborough premises. Nigel’s wife Jane also came to work in their shop and quitting her nursing career to do so. The business rapidly grew and they had expanded to four shops by the mid 1970’s.
The Market Trader
The early 1980’s saw a decline in high street retail so Nigel decided to look elsewhere. He turned towards the increasingly popular outdoor markets. Obtaining pitches on both Finmere & Wembley Markets, Nigel’s son James joined the business, running one site each at a time. James and Nigel worked 7 day weeks to build the business, adding pitches and staff on more markets along the way.
The father & son team soon needed and so acquired their very own warehouse. This allowed them to hold larger stock volumes and start buying in much bigger quantities. This created their very own cash & carry service and helped establish W.Brown as not only a retailer but now a wholesale supplier. The business was now heading in a new direction & in 1992 established new relationships with overseas factories which allowed them to started importing goods directly from China. W.Brown International could now achieve even better prices, create bespoke designs and mass produce its very own products.
Nigel & Jane retired leaving the business fully in the hands of their son & daughter team of James and Julia Brown. This new partnership has evolved the business immeasurably. With a full re-brand, creation of new in-house brands, acquiring new license partners and developing new relationships with both national and international retailers. Now based in Rushden, East Northamptonshire the company boasts modern offices with a spacious warehouse and distribution center. We now have a team of people that includes sales, design, accounts, logistics and warehouse staff. We have large modern showrooms displaying all our current product offering and capabilities. Recently we have built a new factory in Myanmar (formally Burma) providing duty free manufacturing and imports to the UK along side ever strengthening relationships with our Chinese suppliers.
James & Julia’s vision is now to further grow and cement our presence within the fashion bags, travel goods, luggage and accessories market.
“We look forward to evolving the business over the next hundred years as a family and continue to bring innovative and exciting products to all our clients and consumers along the way”