Astrid Saunders, former managing director of Forward Finishing, has announced the launch of her latest venture, AS Finishing, with a £60,000 investment in new machinery.
Poole-based Forward Finishing was placed into voluntary liquidation in November last year with around £80,000 of debt with, according to liquidator RSM Restructuring Advisory, minimal assets.
Saunders then briefly sat as director of Jigzaw Finishing in Dorset but left at the start of March to establish AS Finishing in Verwood, Dorset, as the sole director. She described the new venture as “a product of Forward Finishing”.
“Last year we were hit by a couple of bad debts and the Brexit vote impacted our sales,” she said. “They dropped to levels where it became too hard to trade our way out and unfortunately we had to liquidate.
“AS Finishing will continue to provide to our loyal customers and I plan to move forward by complementing and expanding the work we have always done – alongside things like mailing, we will be working on unusual and complex 3D point-of-sale jobs.”
A raft of used machines is in the process of being brought into AS’s 325sqm premises, including a Muller Martini Presto saddle stitcher, two Stahlfolders and a Wohlenberg 115 guillotine.
Saunders said that her aim was to offer “everything under one roof” to her customers, as well as pushing into the bespoke market.
Martin Saunders joined the company as works manager. Astrid Saunders described his knowledge as “invaluable” to the new business’ success. During his 30-year career he previously worked as a company director at AM Finishing and FAB Finishing and prior to that was a bindery manager at a number of commercial print businesses.
AS Finishing employs five full-time members of staff and 20 home workers offering a full bindery service and hand finishing.