60 seconds with... Balcony Shirts

Jo Francis
Friday, December 18, 2020

Balcony Shirts is a printwear shop in West London. Partner Scott Raison explains the back story: “From humble beginnings printing t-shirts in our bedrooms and selling them on eBay, we soon graduated to a Portacabin, which was situated in a truck garage car park. We then moved to a unit on Uxbridge industrial estate, before ending up in our home of the last 10 years, our shop in Uxbridge.”

Where are you based?
A stone’s throw from Uxbridge tube station. The real West End!

How many staff?
There are five of us, but friends and family have been known to help out in busy times

What does your firm do?
Garment printing and embroidery

What’s your typical customer?
It’s very varied – local businesses, national businesses, sports teams, and dance schools typically, but we are fortunate enough to supply printed garments to the film industry and we never get bored of seeing our work appear on the big screen!

Which geographic areas do you serve?
We serve our local community but also look after merchandise websites for a wide range of clients, so we send out printed items every day to addresses all over the world

What’s your USP?
I don’t know if this makes us ‘unique’, but something that sets us apart is that we offer a very wide range of services, from design, to print, to creating merchandise websites for clients. We relish taking on seemingly impossible tasks!

What has been your proudest achievement over the past few years?
In 2019 we made a t-shirt based on the spider brooch worn by Lady Hale while she was summing up the ‘proroguing Parliament’ case, just for a bit of fun, and put it on eBay with a 30% donation going to the homeless charity Shelter. Much to our astonishment the t-shirt went viral, and we ended up sending Shelter a cheque for a little under £25,000. The workload was extraordinary, but looking back, we are very proud of what we achieved

Where do you see your business in five years’ time?
Like most companies, lockdown has forced us to concentrate more on our online sales, so we have recently starting offering all our services on our website. This has broadened our reach from what has traditionally been a local customer base, and we are going to work hard on expanding that aspect of our business

What’s your team’s favourite biscuit?
The biscuit king is of course the Choco Leibniz, but we must give an honourable mention to the Chocolate Hobnob. That said it’s Wenzel’s Jam Doughnuts all the way, given the choice

www.balconyshirts.co.uk

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