Tom Davies, founder of TD Tom Davies
British entrepreneur Tom Davies has brought the production of his leading eyewear brand back to the UK after opening a new factory in Brentford.
Handmade eyewear brand TD Tom Davies is celebrating its fifteenth year in business with the opening of a new £800,000 factory in Brentford.
Production by his 37-strong team at the new Brentford facility has already started, with experts flying in from China to train up 10 new local school leavers and graduate apprentices.
As Davies scales down operations at his Shenzhen factory, by the end of the year, 30% of his frames will be made in Britain, next year 50% and increasing to 70% over the next three years. Ultimately, the new facility has the capacity to produce 10,000 frames per month.
While manufacturing moves here, he will retain the Shenzhen facility as a resource and sales office for his increased distribution across Asia. In the wake of Brexit, this is a smart move, however his plans preceded the 2016 vote.
“China has been fantastic for the business and the brand, but as we’re expanding I really wanted to do it in the UK,” Davies said. “I’m really looking forward to training a new generation of craftspeople, in our unique production methodology which combines traditional handcrafted skills with state-of-the-art technology.”
Davies’ career began in China 20 years ago when he moved to Hong Kong in 1997 after graduating in Art and Design from the University of East Anglia.
He spent three years working as chief designer for an eyewear start-up, creating frames for a number of international brands before returning home in 2002 to establish Tom Davies.
Five years later, his business was booming enough for him to open his own dedicated Shenzhen production facility.
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