G.H.Hurt & Son: Growing with the Help of ex-NTU Students
Business Growth Fuelled by ex-Interns
G.H.Hurt & Son enjoy a long-standing, symbiotic relationship with local University – Nottingham Trent University - going back over 30 years. We have always supported the School of Art & Design, in particularly their Knitwear Design courses. However, as our business has grown into a digital business, this has opened up more opportunities. From this, we have hosted students from “Fashion Marketing and Branding”, “Business Management and Marketing” and “Digital Marketing” and “Photography” amongst other courses. We find that students always bring fresh and innovative ideas to our business, bringing new methods and helping our business to keep pace with modern thinking.
Currently, we now have three ex-NTU students working with us full time. This is exciting for us, as our recent growth has allowed young intelligent graduates to put their ideas into practice, supporting our future development as full-time employees.
We have always been proud of our Nottingham heritage and the traditional knitting style we pursue here. So, employing students following their time at a local University means a lot to us too, giving us pleasure to promote our city even further. Nottingham Trent is now considered a leading UK University, having been awarded “University of the year 2019”. Whilst we use traditional techniques, we are also relevant and modern when it suits us. These ex-NTU students are now contributing to our growth too. They help us to create innovative designs, as well as develop digital content and communicate our story to consumers and businesses around the world.
This long-term job creation is down to our business growing and evolving. As the digital world grows and with changes to fashion trends and technology improving at a fast rate, we are continuously adapting to the many changes happening around us. Our business now finds itself popular all over the globe. This is a major achievement for us, as the last remaining, hand-frame lace knitwear producers in the UK.
With Gillian Taylor as director and her team of highly skilled employees and ex-NTU students, we hope to continue our success for many more years to come.
James Taylor: BA Business Management and Marketing
James worked with G.H.Hurt & Son on a freelance basis on a number of projects over 2 years alongside his studies. He graduated during summer 2018 and joined us full time shortly afterwards.
In the 18 months since, James has worked in both Marketing and Operations, supporting a range of projects. In fact, project management became such a significant part of his role, that James undertook an industry recognised training course, to qualify as a “PRINCE2 Project Manager”.
During his time with us, James has delivered some significant international development and marketing projects. For example, working with our Web Agency partners, delivering new multi-currency functionality on to our e-commerce platform. He also developed an integrated digital marketing campaign, specifically aimed at consumers in the USA. The US has since become one of our best online markets. Currently, he is developing innovative ways of engaging consumers with video content.
James commented: “Being trusted with some big projects so soon out of university is fantastic and seeing the positive results that those projects have had on the business is very gratifying. I’ve learnt so much in just 18 months of full-time work and achieved some brilliant things with G.H.Hurt & Son.”
Jasmine Farmer: BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles
Jasmine is also an NTU graduate. She joined us a ‘’placement student’’ during her third year, before returning to NTU for her fourth and final year. Jasmine graduated during summer 2019 and joined us full-time shortly after.
Since then, Jasmine has been fully employed in our knitting production team. Her role is split between assisting with production which requires operating commercial knitting machinery, plus designing new innovative knitwear pieces. Her training continues as she develops more sophisticated understanding of knitwear design CAD systems and the operation of a variety of commercial knitting machines. The most challenging task is to design items that are commercially viable.
Having more design talent onboard has allowed us to accelerate the process of design and innovation. Since joining us, Jasmin has directly supported the expansion of our various knitwear collections, including designing the Personalised Baby Elephant Shawl. This was the first shawl that G.H.Hurt & Son personalised.
Jasmine commented: “I love that I get the opportunity to work on new designs and select yarns appropriate for the customer base and season. It’s great that I work on both the computer system and running the machines as I get to see both sides of the design process."
Taya Latchford: BA Fashion Marketing & Branding
Taya graduated from NTU in July 2019 and joined us in the Autumn of that year, initially as a graduate intern, gaining valuable work experience as a Digital Marketing Assistant. Taya thoroughly enjoyed the experience and has since joined G.H.Hurt & Son on a full-time basis.
Taya also continued her professional training, by attending NTU’s Digital Marketing Academy (DMA) programme. As well as skills training with Google Digital Garage and other online skills training courses, such as how to use Hootsuite, to be a competent Digital Marketing Executive and valuable member of the team.
Her role encompasses management of social media, influencer relationships, leading fashion shoots, management of content production projects and publication, creation of marketing materials – such as collection brochures, various campaigns. Plus, lots more besides. Her time with us has allowed her to apply her degree skills in the workplace and we have enjoyed to see her grow further and develop her professional skills. We see digital growth, expanding our brand presence and global online reach.
These communications are a significant contribution to G.H.Hurt & Son’s efforts to speak to all its audiences around the world.
Taya commented: "G.H.Hurt & Son is a lovely place to work and I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to not only work here as an intern, but now to have a full-time role. My job has allowed me to develop my skills independently, as well as in a team and I am fortunate of the high control I have over the digital marketing content. I have a great passion for marketing and I am excited to continue to be a part of this wonderful business and help grow G.H.Hurt & Son’s digital landscape even more!”
All three of our employees have contributed to all of our collections, in various ways to suit their specific roles, including our: Baby Collection, Women's Collection, Men's Collection and our Heritage Range.
In many ways, we’ve moved on from a special symbiotic relationship between G.H.Hurt & Son and our ex-NTU students. Both are now intrinsically linked. It feels like a big step for us to not just have interns, but to have full time employees in these roles. We are excited to continue to see our ex-NTU students and company grow onwards together.
Gillian Taylor, Director of G.H.Hurt & Son commented: “We at G.H.Hurt & Son are continuing to build our brand awareness in existing markets as well as develop growth into new international markets. The students we have taken on from Nottingham Trent University are an essential part of this development and growth. Bringing new digital and design skills, expanding our already experienced workforce.”