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It’s nice to be back at the workshop!

You may have noticed it’s been a while since our last newsletter.

Just like everyone else, we’ve been affected by the coronavirus. In particular, we’ve had to accept disruption from the necessary measures taken by the government and ourselves to keep us all safe. It has been a time of setbacks – but also a time of progress, as we have moved forward as far and fast as we safely could.

  THE STORY  

In mid-March, social distancing measures kicked in. We had to shut the workshop for several weeks. During that time, your many messages and requests made it clear that we have not only a fantastic brand, but also a fantastic audience.  

As soon as it was safe to do so, we took the positive step of letting our young putters-in-training try their hand at running the workshop. The youngsters did a tremendous job, but through no fault of theirs we soon had to close again for a further week-and-a-half. These setbacks have caused some delays to our production, as we hope our customers will understand.

Up until the closures, the full team was working as hard as ever. But since we re-opened, Cliff, Eric and Pam – the team members most vulnerable to the coronavirus – have had to stay at home for their own safety. We’ve also had to limit the team members in the workshop, so our putters can work a safe distance apart.

Another challenge has been disruption to our suppliers. Think of all the items and details that go into making and packaging our scissors, from the certificates, boxes and leather pouches to the grinding stones and laser markings. Every temporarily closed-down partner has had a knock-on effect on our production – and there have been several such disruptions.

Adjustments at the workshop

In recent weeks, Cliff and Eric have been coming in once weekly. Their expertise is as precious as ever, but it does come at a higher price these days. To ensure the space and equipment are fully sanitized in time for their shifts, we must clean everything and run the dust extractor with a HEPA filter for at least 12 hours.

When the master-putters are in the workshop, our other staff are not allowed to enter; and when they’re not in, we have a hotline with them to ensure we’re still making scissors to be proud of. 

This has all conspired to make crafting scissors and fulfilling orders slower and more complicated. The wait time on orders has stretched to about 10 weeks, and we have therefore stopped accepting backorders on several models.

A message to customers
awaiting scissors on backorder

To our customers who are waiting on a backorder: we are very sorry this is taking longer than we’d like. We need to stay focused on quality and safety as we work through our backlog, and this means we must take more time to produce each pair of scissors. Our standards – and our health – depend on it.

We are very grateful for the support we’ve received while working at a reduced capacity, and we hope you can do us the kindness of holding on a little longer for your order. As a lot of people who have received their scissors say: it’s worth the wait.

If you have any questions about delivery of a backorder, feel free to contact our helpdesk (info@ernestwright.co.uk). Pam, Natalie and Paul are dedicated to supporting you as much as possible.

Three new staff…
& three new models of scissors

Alongside the closures and disruptions of recent months, we’ve also made immense progress. Last month, we hired a new member of office staff, Natalie, who is now responsible for packaging our scissors and sending them to their new homes.

And just last week, we hired a young putter-in-training, James. He will help with basic tasks around the workshop while picking up the skills of making scissors by hand. We will also be joined by Anthony, a more mature gentleman who wants to learn our craft. 

There has been significant progress on three new models of scissors:

  • For the first time in the history of the company, we have designed and ordered forgings for a left-handed version of the Turton kitchen scissors.
  • We have recovered a batch of blanks for small embroidery scissors from a Sheffield warehouse. We’ll craft these original Sheffield pattern blanks into limited edition scissors.
  • We finally approved the drawings of the Kutrite kitchen scissors. We’re now awaiting plastic models of the scissors for appraisal.

Even at half-speed,
we’re still finding the positives

Although some businesses like pubs and restaurants are opening up, we are still running at half-speed. Customers are not able to visit the workshop, and Cliff and Eric can only work here when everyone else stays at home.

Despite the challenges, we are still taking lots of positives from this time. We’re proud of the team effort we’ve seen from our staff, and we’ve immensely enjoyed all the conversations we’ve had with our customers around the world. Above all, we’ve learnt that people in over 42 countries appreciate craftsmanship and quality, just like we do.

Stay safe!

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  ABOUT ERNEST WRIGHT 

Handmade in Sheffield

Proud of our heritage

Ernest Wright
(1880-1954)

People love the brand

Buy once, love forever

Ernest Wright
(1880-1954)

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