Upper Hutt Leader
An Upper Hutt couple's show sash business has its first overseas order after US organisers could not find what they wanted closer to home.
Ribbons Plus, owned by Tony Adamson and Kate Winters, is supplying sashes to the North American Highland Cattle Show. It is one of many categories at the 39th Annual North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, from November 3 to 16. The event is described as the world's biggest livestock expo.
While the order is worth only about $1000, it is the couple's first from overseas and they hope news of their custom-made service will spread to the organisers of other livestock competitions at the expo.
Other categories include cattle, goats, llamas, alpacas, sheep, horses and donkeys.
The customer had searched the internet and found the couple's site and saw the sashes they had done for a New Zealand dairy show event. Mrs Winters emailed the customer to make sure she realised she had contacted a New Zealand firm.
The woman said she could not find anyone closer to do what she needed.
Ribbons Plus has made her about 50 ribbons in different colours, plus the multi-coloured grand championship ribbons that include pleated rosettes at each end.
The rosettes provide weight on either side of the sashes as well as being decorative.
Mrs Winter and Mr Adamson helped the customer with the logo, layout of the writing and choosing colours.
Since then they have made rosettes for a New Zealand judge to take to dog shows in England and Ireland.
Ribbons Plus imports its ribbon from China. Screen printing is done at the Upper Hutt base and there is one part-time staff member to help with sewing.
The company has been operating for about five years.
In early 2009 they won a contract for 500 sashes for a New Zealand dairy event in Feilding.
That year they made 3000 lapel ribbons. Last year the number was 16,000.
Numbers of rosettes have increased by the same proportions.
Customers include schools and sports events, livestock shows, motor sport and even a pole dancing champs.
The couple take pride in quick replies to customers, even at weekends.
- Upper Hutt Leader
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