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Celtic & Co: winning a Queen's Award has to be one of our most memorable experiences

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: International trade, Winners
Nick and Kath Whitworth, co-founders of Celtic & Co.
Nick and Kath Whitworth. Credit: Celtic & Co.

Celtic & Co is a luxury British brand, offering a wide range of footwear, clothing, outerwear and accessories made exclusively from the finest, all-natural fibres, predominantly produced in the UK. Based in Cornwall, Celtic was founded 28 years ago by Nick and Kath Whitworth, and is now one of the UK’s largest dedicated retailers of luxury sheepskin products. They currently operate through UK, US, Canadian and Australian websites, mail order and a handful of small boutiques. Celtic’s iconic British sheepskin boots and slippers are true originals and are still handcrafted in their workshop in Newquay by their talented staff.

Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise

All of us here at Celtic & Co are so immensely proud of this achievement and I thank everybody involved in this team effort. Receiving this Queen’s Award has to be one of our most memorable experiences since we started so long ago back in 1990. To receive one of the most prestigious business awards in Great Britain could only be achieved not just by all of us here at Celtic & Co, but also because of all the contributions from our suppliers and of course all of our customers.

– Nick Whitworth

Overall Growth Strategy

Woman jumping between 2 rocks carrying a Union Flag.
Credit: Celtic & Co

Nick Whitworth states -

Since 2014, our strategy has focused on profitable growth to protect the business in the long term by building up our equity. We are still aiming to grow between 5-10% of our turnover year on year but focusing on a wide range of markets and opportunities to ensure we are not over reliant on one market or territory. A key part of this strategy is international growth. This is demonstrated by our growth from 1% of total turnover being through exports in 2014/15 to 12% in 2016/17. Business to Business (both in the UK and international) is another area of growth and diversification for Celtic & Co. We have recently partnered with trade agents in the UK and the US to drive this area of the business forward and are delighted to have secured our first major US trade customer with a $44k order.

The Benefits Brought to the UK

Model wearing a Celtic & Co kilt and jumper.
Credit: Celtic & Co

Kath Whitworth explains -

Currently our business model is to run all overseas operations from our UK based head office here in Cornwall. We utilise the knowledge and experience of our logistics partners to ensure that we are exporting goods in the most efficient and cost effective way for our customers and the business. By operating in this way we are keeping employment opportunity and supplier partnerships in the UK - supporting our local economy.

"As we grow our international business we will continually look at innovative ways to use natural fibres to create long lasting, timeless pieces that help transform us from a throwaway society into one that values sustainability. The manufacturing part of the business definitely has its heart in Cornwall and that's where our boots and slippers will always be made.

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