Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
The company Susanna Davis was established in 2001, in East Yorkshire and is now located in the white peak village of Cromford, Derbyshire. Susanna operate’s as a sole trader, working from a first floor home-office.
Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
Susanna designs and sources pure linen, hand woven and machine loom, from Latvia and Lithuania. All Susanna Davis designs are unique and produced in limited quantities from the finest hand crafted linen. The linen can be ordered as fabric metreage. She has created a range of products for the home, such as cushions, throws, table linen towels, as well as shawls, day-to-night wear, pyjamas, kimonos. She sells primarily to trade, but personal shoppers are also welcome!
How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
I found out about emita whilst attending the Hindi for beginners workshop organised by UKTI.
How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
I have been exporting fabrics to New York since March 2010 but have seen a significant increase in sales of finished goods to a handful of European countries plus Canada since my second trade fair in Paris of September 2012.
I currently trade with buyers in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Korea and Canada for the ready made goods, and New York, California and Singapore for fabric metreage.
What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
I knew from the response to my linen fabric in the London showroom of Tissus d’Helene, Chelsea Harbour, that there was scope for sales of highest quality linen products. I had also visited the Paris trade show at least 4 times to research the market, before testing the waters myself, and knew that both Europeans and the Far East have a deep love affair with beautiful Linen, and that I could add my own slant on interpretation of colour and design to offer something universal, yet unique
What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
Getting money from an inaugural Australian buyer and the French!
What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
How to access help with funding for the Paris trade fair, Maison & Objet and the knowledgeable and insightful support from my international trade advisor, Kathryn Borg, as well as fantastic suggestions to add more relevance and dynamism to my website form Mary Cousins.
What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
I seek to develop the existing contacts to secure lasting business relationships of mutual trust and growth, but am open to more contacts in each of the above. I plan to target Norway and Switzerland, as I have a high end product.
I also need to have a greater presence in London with the ready made goods, before launching into the Gulf states.