Heritage and Background
William Green begins making shoes in the loft above the Corn Merchants in Rushden, Northamptonshire. At this time shoemaking was done by hand in the houses of outworkers and William would hand out the work by visiting them individually on a daily basis.
As his business grew, he needed to increase production, and machinery had just been introduced so he moved into his first "factory" at Green Yard. This was one of the first factories in the World to use the Goodyear Welted method of shoemaking.
The business had grown enough to require bigger premises and their success was such that they could afford to build a state of the art new factory at the corner of Queen Street and Cromwell road. This is the factory that they left in 2013 to move to the current factory.
William Green died and the left the business to his son, CAK Green.
The business decided to move with the times by developing a "modern brand name" something that was just becoming fashionable. They took William Green and sons and shortened it to GRENSON, which became one of the first names ever to be registered in the UK.
Grenson serves its country by producing thousands of boots and shoes for the soldiers of The Great War.
Once again the company is called into action and makes many shoes and boots for the soldiers, not only of British forces but of the Allied Forces too. Among many styles it develops is a flying boot with a leg that zips off to make running easier in case of being shot down in enemy territory. At this point the factory employs nearly 500 people making shoes.
Hayden Green, the last surviving member of the Green family, visits America and sees the majority of men wearing soft, comfortable moccasins. He visits India where the best hand-stitching skills are found and begins to make a collection that gives the company a new lease of life during the post war depression.
Grenson creates many innovative products such as exotic skin shoes in the 60’s and 70’s, but eventually begins to decline due to the growing number of imports from the far east.
The first ever Grenson shop is opened in Liverpool Street in London.
Tim Little buys out the owners and opens a second store, in Hanbury Street, East London, and an e-commerce website.
Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty agree to stock Grenson, kickstarting an expansion into the highest quality wholesale distribution in the world.
The first Grenson Womens collection is launched for over 30 years.
An apprenticeship scheme is started to bring new blood into the factory.
The factory moves for the first time since William Green moved into Queen Street in 1895. The new factory is modern, warm, clean and efficient, signalling its future as a modern business.
The Grenson:LAB programme is started where customers can customise their own shoes. It begins with a launch at Liberty in London.
Two new stores are opened in Soho and Bloomsbury and the iconic "Triple Welt" is launched.
The first ever overseas shop is secured in New York, with a launch date of January 2016.
The Grenson 150th anniversary was marked by a series of events and an "Archive Collection" of shoes that are painstakingly reproduced from the originals. They cover many decades of Grenson shoemaking.