Founder Nick Lyes’ journey began at the age of 16 when his passion for carpentry and joinery led him to work alongside his uncle. Fuelled by ambition, he eventually founded ‘Stylish Blinds’, a venture that rapidly gained momentum due to high demand. However, a pivotal moment in 2018 prompted Nick to take a bold step forward.
Turning ideas into reality
The introduction of a new line of faux wood shutters faced challenges when initially sourcing from China, resulting in a 10-week lead time and causing a number of logistical problems. Nick envisioned a groundbreaking solution to manufacture shutters right here in the UK as ‘British Made Shutters’.
Efficiency in action
Nick was eager to source a UK company to supply his woodworking machinery, and after extensive research he found JJ Smith could offer the perfect solution to his production challenges with their cutting-edge automatic crosscutting machinery – the Stromab CT600 automatic optimising crosscut for straight and angle cutting, and the Stromab Matrix automatic crosscut for straight cutting.
Nick emphasises the critical role these machines play in his manufacturing process. “Our crosscutting machines from JJ Smith are a vital part of the manufacturing process”, he states. “From the order being placed and paid for, the measurements are sent via JJ Smith’s Design2Saw conversion software to the machines in the factory to avoid human error and mishandling.
This seamless integration of technology not only eliminated potential issues but also significantly increased production capacity. British Made Shutters now boasts an impressive output of over 600 panels per week. The introduction of crosscutting machinery further accelerated the production process, paving the way for the establishment of a brand-new hardwood shutter line in the summer of 2023, which has already proven to be immensely popular.”
From a standing start, British Made Shutters has experienced a remarkable year-on-year growth, with the company doubling in both turnover and capacity, leading to three expansions of its premises in the last two years alone. Nick attributes this success to the efficiency gained through the use of innovative, high-quality machinery and processes.
With an eye on the future, Nick Lyes has grand plans for British Made Shutters. Research and development remain at the forefront, ensuring that the company continues to innovate and meet the evolving needs of its customers. As Nick puts it “Watch this space!”