South West Play
What town/city are you based in?
Number of generations
Number of employees
Tell us about your family business (What you do, how you started, who’s involved etc)
The business was born as South West Nets some 35 years ago, it was started by my Father Geoff, he was importing fishing equipment from the far east and selling it to the Fisherman in Newlyn.I left school and worked as a Fisherman straight away, I became a Skipper at the age of 18 and ran the family fishing boat. My Father retired 9 years ago, so I came ashore after selling the fishing boat and took over at South West Nets with my Wife Emma. We saw a gap in the market for rope and net based play equipment, so we rebranded the company South West Play, The Traditional Netmakers of Cornwall. Emma and I are involved in every aspect of running the business. We started with 1 Net Technician, now we have 5 and 2 office, admin. We have worked for Selfridges helping with their window displays, we have worked at Legoland, Chessington & Flamingo Land. We have worked for theming companies who worked for Nat Rothschild 40th birthday party. But with all these high profile companies that come calling we never get ahead of ourselves, we never forget who we are and how far we’ve come.
What’s your proudest moment/biggest achievement as a family business?
Our proudest moment was being the sole net and rope play contractor for the play area in the Olympic Park, that was built for the Queens Jubilee. Our expertise was tested to the full, we manufactured and installed 7 nets 3 tunnels and 2 bridges in the Scots Pine Play Area, we also installed a 25 mt, decking bridge, which was all built alongside the Velodrome. We beat off stiff competition from big European companies who had bid for the work. This was a huge project in terms of what had to be manufactured and installed by us, we felt honoured to be a part of this huge project which really showcased our abilities to be able to make anything from rope.
What do you love about being a family business?
Every day when we come to work is what we love. To see how far we have come, what we have achieved as a family business. We both know there’s plenty more to come. And we also get to work with my each other every day.