Early Days is a family run business, founded in 1952 by two brothers Tony and Michael Bolton.
Left: Tony Bolton(Managing Director) Right Michael Bolton (Production Director) Centre: Alan Ashton (Factory Manager)
The new factory back in 1965, exciting times ahead for the 2 brothers.
The young brothers started by cutting the shoes out by hand in their parents’ house and moved into a small unit employing just three people twelve months later. Within a short space of time they expanded as the company’s two brands Early Days and Baypods grew in popularity, selling all over the UK and overseas.
Michael’s sons joined the business during the 1980’s and the company expanded further employing over 100 people producing in excess of 10,000 pairs of shoes a week.
As markets changed, with the influx of shoes from overseas ,the company had to adapt to the demands this created but where many companies moved their production to the Far East, Early Days continued to manufacture in their Leicester factory.
This provided the company with some challenging times as many of their customers opted to buy cheaper shoes from overseas but the directors believed their core business would remain and that retaining their shoe manufacturing base in the UK was critical.
Today this strident belief in UK manufacturing has paid dividends for the company as many customers are once again seeking shoes manufactured in this country, appreciating the merits of sourcing high quality footwear combined with low minimum order quantities and quick delivery times.
The company is now run by Michael Bolton’s two sons, Paul and Chris, who are as committed today to UK manufacturing as their father and uncle were over 60 years ago.
2013 saw the advent of a brand new concept, the “Leather Collection”, a range that gained immediate success when launched at the Bubble exhibition that January. The following year Prince George was seen regularly wearing Early Days shoes from the “Leather Collection” and the sales went through the roof. Princess Charlotte continued the trend with her first shoes, Emma, in various colours and Prince Louis like his brother wore Early Days’ classic T-bar Alex.
With endorsements like that, the future looks to be remaining bright for Early Days for many years to come!