“As I was enjoying another Whitecliffe fashion show, our third student fashion show for the year with a couple more to attend, I don’t think I will make them all, but in some way, we will be supporting them and the next generation of designers coming through the industry.
I was in discussions with Apparel editor Caitlan Mitchell on the industry and niche businesses; this got me thinking of what Walker Sotech had done over the last ten years, even from when I started with them as an apprentice 33 years ago.
As everyone knows, the clothing manufacturing industry has slowly morphed over the last 20 years; the large factories have all but gone. And a lot of small niche businesses are replacing the large companies, and large ones are buying up competitors to keep market share.
We have survived recessions, earthquakes and interesting government decisions, watched trends come and go as well as businesses. Walker Sotech also had to morph.
In the last seven years, Walker Sotech has been really progressive, purchasing Sotech Marketing (embroidery machinery), brought in a new business partner (Rajesh Narsey, old friend, now Managing Director), a new name, and 16 months ago buying our major competitor Sewingtime NZ.
With all this change, not only has it been great for us, it has been really great for the industry. Why? Because we are now sustainable for the next ten years plus and we plan to be around for the next 30 years.
This gives our customers who seriously rely on our back up and maintenance services, which we now have a team of nine service technicians and last year we took on an apprentice technician, our first one in 30 years, and this is to cover New Zealand and the Pacific islands. The feedback we receive is giving our customers the confidence to invest in machinery for their businesses.
Not only are we supporting business, but we are also now helping the next generation by supporting the learning institutes throughout the country. We are constantly talking to students, advising them, letting them know do’s and don’ts, pitfalls in dealing online even though we trade online. Making sure they don’t become victims of rogue operator’s that we know are hiding behind some online accounts.
We enjoy helping people and businesses get the right machinery that will not only last a long time but become an asset in their future.
So the Sewingtime/Walker Sotech team are looking forward to a positive future.
P.S. Our Christchurch office has now moved into our new premises at 77A Brisbane St, Sydenham, so come on in and have a peek.”