Salonwear: A Brand from Dencowear
The Origins of Dencowear and Salonwear
Although Dencowear started in 1966, the Salonwear brand wasn't launched until 34 years later in 2000, meaning 2020 will see Salonwear reach 20 years!
The Salonwear brand was created due to the increasing demand for Salon uniforms and as they continued to grow in popularity, the brand became a huge hit for the Dencowear company. Since then, the company and the Salonwear brand have grown to now supply you with a great choice of high quality garments, in many styles and colours suited to a variety of professions in the healthcare and beauty industry.
The first ever Salonwear Brochure
Three Generations of Experience
From left to right; Molly and Louis Shinwell, Sue Sherman and Ilan Sherman (far right)
Salonwear: A Proud History
Founder, Louis Shinwell, handed the family business to daughter, Sue Sherman, who developed the company and launched the Salonwear in her time as CEO. Her son, Ilan Sherman, is now in charge and has seen numerous product and service awards during his time at the company.
1948: IN THE BEGINNING
• Louis Shinwell (Ilan’s Grandfather) realises his dream of owning his own business.
• He had a little bit of experience of making ties, so he and Molly set up a tiny factory in the front room of their house.
1949: PETERS & SHINWELL
• They moved the operation to a large back-to-back house in Camp Road, Leeds and joined forces with a new business partner. Peters & Shinwell was born.
1966: DENCOWEAR IS BORN
• A relative of Louis Shinwell brought a Cossack-style dental jacket from America as he thought there would be a demand in the UK for this style.
• Molly Shinwell then formed a separate private company, Den-co-wear, to start selling this garment with a handful of different clinical styles. The company name comes from the original garment ‘Dental Coat’.
1966: MARKETING AT ITS BEST
• Envelopes were addressed by hand to dentists listed in the Dental Registry and the mail order company Den-Co-Wear was launched to the market.
• When the orders came in they were collated and manufactured by Peters & Shinwell for Dencowear.
1986: MANUFACTURING IN ARMLEY, LEEDS
• When Louis Shinwell retired and sold Peters & Shinwell there was a need for Dencowear to control its own manufacturing so second generation, Sue Sherman, opened a small unit in Armley, keeping the staff who had worked over many years for Peters & Shinwell.
• One lady, Agnes, who started with Louis Shinwell at 15 years old, would go on to work for Dencowear until she retired at 65, a symbol of the family atmosphere that was embedded in the culture from an early age.
1988: BARKSTON HOUSE, HOLBECK
• Dencowear soon outgrew the unit in Armley, as it became difficult to ‘climb’ into the office where we also stored the numerous rolls of cloth and boxes with part orders which were waiting to be delivered.
• So, Dencowear moved to a unit of 1,200sq ft on Domestic Street, Leeds. Sue Sherman was the only person in the office and all paperwork was done manually such as delivery notes, invoices, accounting etc.
• The business grew and Dencowear took on more machinists. Unusual in the turbulent times of UK clothing manufacturing at the time, Dencowear never had to lay staff off for lack of work. Most of the business gained was from Yellow Pages and recommendations.
UK Factory Machinists for Dencowear in 1994
THE SALONWEAR BRAND IS BORN
• Dencowear had been manufacturing uniforms for the beauty industry (known as Salonwear) for wholesale clients for a number of years.
• After five years one of Dencowear's wholesale clients approached us with a suggestion. She was looking to continue to get the orders in to sell her salon equipment but wanted Dencowear to supply the uniform orders she received direct to students and colleges. Dencowear agreed to do this opportunity and a new brand ‘Salonwear Direct’ was born. It was the start of Dencowear selling salon uniform to retail customers rather than just suppliers.
• New people were employed to process the numerous individual orders and to manage the stock, which we now had to hold in the Leeds office in order to service the needs of the college market.
2003: THE THIRD GENERATION BEGINS
• It was around this time that Sue’s son, Ilan, joined the business and began to modernise the company by launching a website and setting up the manufacture of some of our garments in overseas factories.
2008: THE MEANWOOD CHAPTER BEGINS
• We now had to stock larger amounts of workwear so we decided to look for premises that would accommodate the expanding business and in 2008 moved to Meanwood Close.
• The company was fortunate to land a contract with Npower plc which doubled our turnover to £1m
2013: DENCO HOUSE – A NEW ERA
• It quickly became apparent that we were fast outgrowing the space at Meanwood Close as we had to store a lot of stock off the premises. After 12 months of searching across Leeds, we found our present building, the newly named ‘Denco House’ in Buslingthorpe Green, which at 10,000 square feet not only served the needs of the business, but allowed for luxuries like meeting rooms and a fun staff room.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
• We currently supply clothing to a range of sectors including health and beauty colleges, salons, spas, care homes, pharmacies, clinics and power stations.
• We have two active e-commerce websites; salonweardirect.co.uk and Uniforms4Healthcare.com
• We have clients including Sheffield Hallam University, Npower, Haribo, NHS, Leeds City College and Ideal Care Homes
• We've won several Best Uniform Supplier Awards and are a well-recognised company and brand within the health and beauty uniform sector.
By Managing Director, Ilan Sherman