Cardigan is a small town in Wales home to 4000 people. Four hundred of them used to make jeans. For three decades, they made 35,000 pairs a week. Then one day the factory closed. But all that skill and knowhow remained but without any way of showing the world what they could do.
David Hieatt is the co-founder of the Hiut Denim Company. He started his business to bring denim manufacturing back to Cardigan and to use all that skill on his doorstep and to breathe new life into his town. It’s been a huge success. The firm’s laser-focus commitment to quality has seen it win legions of fans from rock stars to royalty.
David has always been passionate about building brands. Aged just 13, David was already sending sports apparel brands marketing critiques; often travelling to London to attend trade shows and meet with marketing executives. An early brush with bankruptcy, a successful career as a creative for the then leading ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, David then went on to be the founder of Howies, the outdoor and sports clothing brand that he sold to The Timberland Company.
Getting a town back to work
Not particularly motivated to start a new business, David’s business plan for a new denim brand was put to one side. Then one day, David received a call from a friend who asked him about his business plan. David explained that he wasn’t motivated to start with the friend replying ‘It’s not about you David. It’s about getting the town back to work’.
In this episode you’ll learn about organisational purpose, employee engagement, wellbeing, teamwork and community, as well as:
- The clear business case for looking after your workers;
- Humble bosses get out of their employee’s way;
- ‘Hire for hunger’ – seek out geekiness and obsession when finding talent;
- Let employees create their own working patterns;
- Organisational mission is not just a statement, it’s also a question;
- A job that has meaning is crucial for team success.