Chamber member, Karuta Sportwear won New Business of The Year in our Awards ceremony 2020. And a month after being awarded the trophy, we went into lockdown. We hear from Managing Director, Martin Longden.
What impact did lockdown/Covid-19 have on your business?
When COVID hit Karuta for two weeks, I wondered if we had a company, I then decided we would.
We created and made sports socks bearing the “Love NHS Heart” and sold them online donating to the NHS as an outcome, we then branched out into t-shirts and then finally into bespoke facemasks for teams and companies. We sold an incredible 4500 bespoke facemasks.
During this period, we also designed a new training and leisure range that we will launch fully in December 2021.
In lockdown, after the initial shock of overnight, when the phone stopped ringing and the emails dried up, we decided to roll up our sleeves. We started contacting prospective new clients and we were amazed that during the initial lockdown period we successfully agreed to supply 16 new sports clubs. As 2020 progressed demand reach new heights to such an extent the company employed a new member of staff and moved to larger premises.
Coming out of lockdown, Karuta Sportswear has gone from strength to strength.
How has Covid-19 changed the way you do your business?
Our online shops have seen a significant percentage increase.
Are you able to go back to the way things were before lockdown?
Yes, pretty much so.
Does your business have any lasting effects of Covid-19?
What are your plans for the future?
In 2022 we aim to expand further and recruit more staff.
And if you could go back in time, what advice would you give your March 2020 self?