This year Kieron Drake will reach a significant milestone in his career when he celebrates his 40th year as manager of production at Kenlow. It therefore seemed fitting to ask Kieron about how things have changed over the years and to give us an insight into why Kenlow has dominated the shade industry for so long.
Q: What was it like when you first started at Kenlow all those years ago?:
A: Back then, most of the products we manufactured were made from canvas. Every hem and seam was stitched using marine grade thread and the technology was very basic. It’s amazing to think that our customers only had a choice of around 4 materials; products like synthetic canvas and woven poly-cotton were really all you had to work with in those days.
Q: How does that compare to the industry today?
A: I guess the biggest influence on our industry has been the introduction of PVC. There’s now a vast array of around 40 different materials available in different weights, finishes, colours and patterns. Hand in hand with that has been the company’s on-going investment in the latest state-of-the-art machinery which means we can manufacture a much better finished and far better looking product.
Q: Why do you think Kenlow has remained leader in the shade industry all this time?
A: Besides our experience, I think there’s a combination of things that set Kenlow apart from the rest of the industry. For example, Kenlow’s reputation is built on quality and that’s something everyone here is very proud of. It’s all about teamwork and we all take great care to ensure that what eventually leaves the factory is the best we can make it.