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Loafie: Seriously Low Carb

CWC recently produced a larger-than-life loaf for Seriously Low Carb. “Loafie” ran the 2021 London Marathon to raise funds for Diabetes UK.
Loafie completed the course in 5 hours 32 minutes.

Using our in-house design team and dye sublimation printing we recreated the look and texture of the Low Carb Loaf, complete with branding and a removable Diabetes UK sweatband. The lightweight structure is durable and perfect to keep Loafie running for years to come.

Who are Seriously Low Carb? Part of the Keeto Life family, Seriously Low Carb specialise in producing low carb products and helping endurance athletes, type 2 diabetics, ketonians and others seeking a lower carb diet to support their eating lifestyle.

We caught up with Low Carb legend Andy Welch, founder of Seriously Low Carb and the marathon runner to talk about all things Loafie.

CWC: Hi Andy, it was fantastic to work with you recently and bring your product to life. What gave you the idea to run the marathon as a giant loaf?

Andy: We had so much fun working with you. When we committed to raise funds for Diabetes UK at the London Marathon I had a crazy idea in mind… I wasn’t sure exactly what it was going to be at first, it just had to be massively impactful, totally out of the ordinary and the outcome had to be maximum fun.

CWC: You were raising funds for Diabetes UK, how does your loaf help to support the lifestyle of people with diabetes?

Andy: Our diabetic family is a huge part of our customer base. Managing carbohydrate is critically important if you are either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic, but until recently great tasting seriously low carb food just wasn’t available. We didn’t realise what a game-changer our bread would be when we launched in 2020, and now the loaves we have sold would reach into space and back. We’ve been blessed by the support from our Low Carb Legends (customers) and of course we’re very lucky to be able to support Diabetes UK in such a way.

CWC: We hope Loafie encouraged lots of donations. How did you find running in Loafie, did he attract a lot of attention and help to raise awareness of your brand?

Andy: I couldn’t recommend it enough. An hour of runners asking for selfies before the race. Five hours and 32 minutes of people calling out ‘Loafie’ & ‘Low Carb Legend’ every few seconds for the entire marathon and the finish line was euphoric, the applause I got from the support team was something else. Then afterwards…so many people coming up and saying they’d spotted me again and again and congratulating me. I couldn’t have asked for much more brand awareness, we even got on the BBC list of best costumes!

CWC: Do you think Loafie will be appearing at more events in the future?

Andy: Absolutely. We’re at the Food Entrepreneur Awards with Loafie next month. This time Loafie will be hosted by an awesome actor busting some dance moves to make us all giggle. I hope Loafie will make another Marathon appearance again sometime in 2022.

CWC: How did you find working with us?

Andy: The brief you took was absolutely on point. Your attention to detail was amazing, from the print quality to the branded wavy hair. I wore ‘Loafie’ for nearly 7 hours. The frame was very light and I didn’t have a single friction mark, that’s a top quality harness. You also manged us really well. We had crazy timelines, changed our mind at least three times and we still got Loafie delivered on time. You’re a seriously awesome team and because of you ‘Loafie’ is famous. Thank you!
 

“… thanks so much for creating our fab loafie costume, it’s brilliant! The print quality of the loaf is excellent, it looks just like our bread. Please pass on our thanks to your designers & production team.”

Rachel McDowell, Head of Marketing @ Keeto life
 

More about Loafie and the Seriously Low Carb loaf: seriouslylowcarb.com
@seriouslylowcarb

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The role of mascots in the post-lockdown world

The way we interact with one another during day-to-day life has adapted to stop the spread of Covid-19 and keep ourselves and each other safe.

As attractions and venues across the world have re-opened and adapted to the “new normal”, interactions between employees, customers and audiences have changed.

Whether you are a charity, sports team, theme park, holiday park, play centre or school, it’s likely that each time you use your mascot character, you will come into contact with a number of people. What is the role of custom-made brand mascots in the “new normal” and how can you adapt to keep your staff and audiences safe?
 

The UK staycation has been massive this summer. A key part of any family trip to a holiday park is the entertainment. We have spoken to several of our customers in the tourism industry to ask how they have been ensuring their characters are keeping their distance while also working hard

 

Outdoor stages

Some venues have outdoor spaces, where it is easier to ensure audiences are able to observe social distancing.

Distancing on stage

Markers have been placed on to stages to help performers to ensure they are distanced.

Meet and Greet

Meet and greet events are a little different, with characters no longer able to give a big, furry hug. Some companies have put floor plans in place, with an enclosed area for their character to perform, pose and interact with the audience with a photography point nearby. (Ask us about our custom printed backdrops) Queueing systems have been put in place in some venues to ensure everyone’s safety.

Social media and digital performances

Characters are using social media platforms to stay at the forefront of their audiences’ minds. There are so many different platforms available to boost your character’s presence online and keep your audience engaged even when they aren’t on site. Many parks have incorporated animated scenes into their character shows using LED screens behind the stage to add another dimension to their entertainment packages.

Puppets

Puppets are a great option, as they only need one operator. All CWC puppets are supplied with a washable glove. Each operator can have their own glove to limit any risks.

CWC recommended steps to take to keep your performers safe:

1 At present, we recommend that each character costume is limited to one specific performer where possible.
We also recommend (as usual) that performers have a minder with them at all times.

2 Items such as Coolmax Suits can be worn underneath the costume.
We recommend that each performer has their own Coolmax suit. These not only increase comfort during performances (they are moisture wicking and draw perspiration away from their bodies) but they are washable and quick to dry, meaning your performer has a clean suit for each and every performance. We’ve developed a “covid Coolmax” suit, which includes a balaclava for additional protection. Ask us for more details.

3 It is important that you properly clean and sanitise your mascot costume.
Proper cleaning will ensure your wearer’s safety, your costume’s longevity and a return on your investment. Many of our costumes last in excess of 8 years if they are correctly maintained.

4 Every costume we produce has a set of “Wear and Care” instructionsto help you to keep them clean, hygienic and looking amazing.
We hold copies of all of these, so please get in touch if you would like a set.

5 We offer a refurb service. Our team will professionally clean your character and carry out any repairs or produce replacement parts as necessary before sending your character back to you in tip-top shape. We have put additional precautions in place, keeping both the safety of our staff and customers in mind.

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How I use my mascot

In the first of a series of mini-blogs, meet our client Joan, an NHS nurse who we worked with recently to create his larger-than-life sublimation-printed pint glass.
He’s on a fundraising mission for the Cavell Nurses’ Trust and will hopefully be breaking some Guinness World Records along the way!

We worked with him and his sponsors to create the Guinness World Record-approved costume specification. It has already been road (or should that be mountain), tested on a recent training climb up Mount Snowdon.

Cheers Joan, and good luck we can’t wait to see how you get on in London!

#Pint4Cavell


Joan is a very passionate nurse and is taking his fundraising challenge to the next level.

The last two years have been very hard for everybody and especially for the NHS frontline and fellow nurses like him.

During the first and second wave, Joan was redeployed to the intensive care unit (ICU). The work was often bleak, and the experience hit him hard both emotionally and physically. At the end of second wave, Joan was diagnosed with PTSD.

Initially he felt like a failure. He was ashamed to have problems with his mental health but started therapy and gradually regained his balance. With the help of the psychologist, he came to understand that mental imbalance is nothing to be ashamed of. His mental state was the result of the situation he had found himself in and many years of neglecting and not taking care of his mental health. He realised that stress and anxiety are illnesses that could affect anyone.

Since then, he has been raising mental health awareness and trying to break the surrounding taboos.

“Taking care of mental health is not a weakness – quite the opposite. The bravest thing a person can do is ask for help when they need it.”

As part of his recovery plan, Joan started to run. On the 8th  February he received an email telling him that he had a place in the  The London Marathon.

That was the goal he needed, and Joan has been training hard since. He joined his local running club and since February has lost nearly 3 stones. The most important thing is that his mental and physical health have improved significantly.

On the 3rd  October Joan not only will try to run the London Marathon, attempting to beat the Guinness World Record of the fastest marathon dressed as a pint of beer.

The best of it is that you will be able to follow his progress live on social media using #Pint4Cavell.

All you need to do to support him is by texting CHEERSNURSE to 70085. £4 will be donated to Cavell Trust.

You can sponsor him here:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Pint4Cavell/2

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A mascot doesn’t have to cost the earth!

The UK is beginning to re-open its doors and companies are understandably budget-conscious at the moment. We want to ensure quality mascots are accessible to suit a wide range of budgets. Now, more than ever, it is so important to ensure your costume is working hard for you to promote your brand.

 

At CWC we produce mascots for world-famous brands, but we use the skills of the same team to make a budget-conscious mascots too. Just because it’s a budget-conscious character doesn’t mean it needs to look like one, or feel like one when you are wearing it.

 

Here are six ways to really get the most out of your budget:

 

Simplified design

In addition to our fully bespoke service, we also offer flexible solutions to work with a range of budgets. A design can be simplified to use existing CWC body shapes and reduce the number of patterns our team need to draw up, enabling us to accommodate a lower budget whilst still providing the highest quality character costume. Send your design and budget to for a quote.

Multiple outfits

Many of our customers want their characters to wear a range of different outfits so they can promote events all year round. Owing to the unique way our costumes are constructed, we make this possible in a very budget-friendly way!
Our bespoke printing service means that we can easily and cost effectively produce branded or themed outfits for your costume to help them to switch up their look. There’s no need to send your character in to us, we can simply produce your new t-shirt to match your character’s specifications and send it out to you. Our turnaround time for new outfit components is extremely short.

Two heads are better than one

Another option to keep your characters working hard all year round within a restricted budget is to buy two character heads to work with one body. This gives you the flexibility and variety to use your costume for a variety of themed events. For example, you could have a bunny that can also be a reindeer with a switch of the head, suitable for both Easter and Christmas events.

Before and after a refurbishment Hippo with tutu for Miwex, Brown Rabbit for Alibi

Accessories complete the look

Accessories can completely change the look of your characters. The addition of a bow, sash, hat, bunny ears, vampire cloak or a Santa hat can quickly help your character to fit in with your promotion.

Team up!

We’re all in this together, so why not go halves on your character? A bear with a couple of branded t-shirts could promote two separate businesses while spreading the cost.

Refurbishment

Our refurb team are amazing and can revitalise a tired-looking character costume. They will fully clean and sanitise your costume, assess it for damage and repair it where possible, or provide a quote for replacement items. If correctly maintained, our character will look great for years. We still receive characters in for their yearly spa break that were produced when we were called Situation Clothing back in 2001. Check out our company page on LinkedIn to see a timeline of CWC.

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How a mascot can boost your revenue

Marketing really is more fun with mascots and enables you to stand out. Your target market will love the opportunity to meet and directly engage with the fun and friendly representative of your business…

A bespoke mascot costume opens up a whole range of marketing and merchandising opportunities.

Public appearances

It’s hard to ignore or walk past a large, friendly character who invokes a smile. Passers-by are more likely to engage with you and your staff when a character is present.
Costumes are a fantastic tool to encourage charitable donations. Charities we work with have informed us that donations increase threefold when the character is present.
A branded character can reinforce visual recognition of your company colours and branding, and a larger than life, fun interaction with your mascot will leave your target market with a lasting, positive impression of your business.


Left to right: Björn Bear for Flamingo Entertainment on behalf of Ikea (toy & character), Bob The Dog for Durham PNN, Buddy & Mini for Greenbank Holidays, Løven Lukas for Scenic Projects (toy & character)

Online / Social media

Featuring your costume online provides the opportunity to create some really fun, original content and increase interaction with your social media pages. This in turn increases awareness of your brand/message and enables you to reach a wider audience quickly.

Merchandise

People want to have tangible merchandise of the brands that they love. Who can resist a plush toy of their favourite character, that can be taken home and cuddled, or displayed in your car or office, bringing their personality and brand right into your customer’s world? They are loveable by their very nature, which is why a replica cuddly toy works so well.
Custom-branded, inexpensive items such as plush toys, key-rings, magnets, stationery and clothing provide excellent opportunities to increase your revenue and further strengthen your target customers’ brand loyalty.
A take-home item keeps your company’s branding in front of your customers’ eyes, meaning that you are always at the forefront of their mind. Furthermore, clothing or accessories that can be worn will provide free advertising for you in public, increasing recognition of your brand.
Branded merchandise can quickly become a collectible and desirable item, especially when there is a full “set” of items to collect.
Merchandise can be sold in a range of locations, including online, boosting your company’s profit.
Alternatively, if you already have a range of merchandise and need a costume to go with it, we can help!

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Costumes with Charity

Despite the personal struggles faced throughout the Pandemic, extraordinary kindness and community spirit has shone through.

The tourism and leisure industry has been hit the hardest but thousands of talented UK makers have put their furloughed skills to good use by producing entirely different products to help the keyworkers who have been vital in fighting Covid-19.

Eager to help out, CWC linked up with Make it British to discuss the need for mass produced PPE. Unfortunately, due to the approved certification required for PPE we were disappointed not to be able to get involved in supplying PPE, however Scrubs were a different matter. Scrub Hubs popped up across the country, with members using donated funds to produce much-needed scrubs. Our furloughed staff worked hard to produce scrubs for their local hubs.

Fabric facemasks donated by Costumes with Character Russell Bear for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice

CWC wanted to directly express our gratitude to the NHS workers, and donated funds towards the materials used by the Wigan Scrub Hub and Cyber Sausage @theatricalstagecostumes

Our Creative Director produced patterns for face masks and headbands which addressed the complaint of sore ears NHS staff were raising after having worn their masks for long periods.

The team produced over 200 masks and headbands for local care homes, customers and even characters!

We were pleased to quickly respond to the needs of a charity raising funds for the local community. They needed some replacement costume parts but had been let down by the original manufacturer of the costume.

The charity sector is another area that has suffered. Mascots are always a fantastic fund-raising tool. We have been told by customers that they receive three times as many donations when their character is present at events.
We’re always keen to support charities, offering reduced rates and donating to worthy causes. Needless to say, we love animals here at CWC and are pleased to support Compassion in World Farming (https://www.ciwf.org.uk/), the world’s leading farm animal welfare organisation.

The Rockhopper Penguin we donated to Edinburgh Zoo

We work with charities large and small, from BBC Children In Need to smaller charities such as Millie’s Trust. We have pledged to donate a character costume a year. Last year we produced Russell bear for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield (https://www.forgetmenotchild.co.uk)

Zoos have been severely impacted by the pandemic and we wanted to help out. This year we have donated a Rockhopper Penguin to Edinburgh Zoo, famed for their Penguin Parades.

“The rockhopper arrived the other day and it looks fantastic! Can’t wait to use it! Many thanks once again!”

ALEXANDER TURNBULL Visitor Experience Manager, RZSS Edinburgh

We hope he works hard for them!

The pandemic is an ongoing challenge for us all but if there ever was a time to #bekind, it’s now.

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Critters with Character!

How can you entertain your audience with a smaller entertainment team, and how can you ensure your team are able to provide vibrant, attention-grabbing shows whilst maintaining a social distance from the audience and each other?


Social distancing measures are presenting performers and promoters with some challenging issues.
Venues are having to think of clever workarounds to entertain their audience while keeping their staff safe. In the recently re-opened Disney Resort in Shanghai the much-loved Disney parade and “meet and greet” opportunities have been cancelled, with the characters instead waving at guests from afar upon their arrival at the park.

CWC is here to help! Our new range of “Critters with Character” puppets offer a perfect solution, allowing you to entertain your audience from a safe distance with a single operator.

Puppets have always been a favourite in the entertainment industry, from Punch and Judy to Kermit the Frog, puppets have thrilled and delighted audiences on the seafront, stage and screen.

In recent years at CWC, we have seen a steady increase of the use of puppets during live shows and events, both in the UK and further afield. Holiday parks, hotels and cruise ships use them for smaller, more intimate shows with their younger guests and families. Theatrical and live performance venues use them to add an extra something special to their show or bring together a concept that wouldn’t quite work as a costume or prop, theme parks use them as part of their walkabout entertainment or as an interactive addition to their scenery.

Over the years we’ve made puppets large and small: simple hand puppets, larger characters that need two hands to operate, costumes with puppet elements (such as a moving mouth or blinking eyes), and giant puppets needing a harness for the wearer to operate them.


Puppet replicas of your existing characters are a great way to introduce them to younger guests, bringing their larger-than-life personality to them without the larger than life costume, which can sometimes be intimidating for smaller guests
(We have plenty of pointers on addressing and avoiding this in our “How to be a Costume Character” tips provided with each costume).

Entertain your audience with a bespoke CWC puppet!

Our puppets are safe and hygienic for your staff. They are supplied with washable gloves which are quick to dry and can be easily maintained between uses, or each operator can have their own gloves. They also come with a stand and a waterproof tour and storage bag, so you can keep them safe and looking pristine when not in use.

We’ve introduced our first Critter and will be adding more furry friends to the gang soon. Keep an eye on our social media pages for the latest additions!
Contact us today If you would like a quote for a bespoke puppet, or want to know a little more about the “Critters With Character” range

Call us: 0161 442 8740

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Costumes with hygiene

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, personal hygiene has become a focus. Frequent handwashing is being encouraged and masks are becoming more commonplace in day- to-day life.

Everyone has been staying at home where possible, and many of our customers have taken to the internet to engage and promote their characters and bring a smile to their customers’ faces whilst in lockdown.
As we slowly move towards the new normal, with theme parks in several countries beginning to re-open, what does this mean for your mascots?

For the time being, we would recommend limiting your character use to one specific wearer per costume and maintaining social distancing while you are in costume.
Your character “wear and care” instructions have full details about the best maintenance methods for your costume. We have copies of these available so please get in touch if you need a new copy or have any maintenance questions.
If you would prefer to have your character professionally cleaned and sanitised, our refurb team are here to help. Contact to book your character in for a full spa treatment, anti-bacterial scrub and soothing massage before they get back to work!
No one wants to put their wearers’ health at risk and here at CWC we care about your wearers’ safety.
We use top quality materials and quick-to-dry foam in our character bodies. As many elements as possible are machine-washable for easy maintenance at home, with minimal downtime.

Our preferred material for character heads is ABS plastic, which is unique to CWC in the UK.

It is the most hygienic style of character head and it’s easy to see why it is the go-to for much-loved companies like Disney.
The plastic is vacuum-formed over a sculpted fibreglass tool and the two halves are prepared by our skilled props team, who adapt the shape by cutting areas of vision and ventilation away, adding sculpted builds to the form to match your design. All edges are sanded down with 2-3 grades of sandpaper to ensure everything is smooth and safe for your wearer.

As ABS is plastic, it is not porous. Many mascot makers use cheap foams or even wadding fabric to produce their character heads.

Foam heads can be laser cut, making them quick and cheap to produce, but then the pieces have to be glued together. This is not only a lot warmer than a ventilated, plastic head but also absorbs moisture from your wearer. After a few wears this can become unpleasant and begin to smell.
In contrast, a CWC ABS head can be wiped clean with anti-bacterial spray or wipes after every use so you can be sure your wearer is working in a clean and sanitised environment.

With hygiene being at the forefront of everyone’s minds, our ABS heads really are the best and most hygienic choice for your character costume.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements; big or small, furry or smooth – we’re here to help bring your ideas to life.


Call us: 0161 442 8740

P.S Did you know we also sell puppets? Keep an eye out for our forthcoming puppet blog for more information about how puppetry in the entertainment industry is really taking off!

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Don’t furlough your mascot!

Five ways to keep your mascot working hard for you during lockdown

With our 6th week of lockdown in the UK just beginning, many mascots have been put to one side temporarily. However, this doesn’t have to be the case!

Mascots are a fantastic marketing tool, and social media platforms are providing the perfect solution to the issue of not being able to interact in person (or costume) with your target market.

Don’t be forgotten! Keep your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds and ensure your business is ready to hit the ground running when the UK economy starts to re-awaken.

Here are five ways to help you to get the most out of your costume during lockdown.


1

Tik Tok: this video sharing app is the fastest growing social media platform in the world, with many people taking to the internet to showcase their dancing skills.

Polish up your dancing paws and give the “Oh na na na” challenge a try!


2

Instagram: this is a great platform to really promote the visual side of your brand.

Brand colours, photo montages, short videos and teasers leading up to announcements or events such as giveaways are a great way to build up excitement about your company and control your target audience’s impression of your brand. Don’t forget to use a hash tag or two to help your posts to reach your ideal customers!


3

Facebook

Frequently used to quickly communicate with and encourage engagement directly with your followers, many of our customers have taken the opportunity to create a Facebook page for their character, giving the furry face of their brand a voice with which to engage customers. The great thing about this platform is that you can post statuses, polls, photos, videos and you can share or like other people’s posts, increasing your reach.


4

Out and about (safely)

We’ve heard about several of our customers wearing their characters out in the streets to boost the morale of their local communities and raise money for good causes. We’ve seen wonderful feedback on their social media pages about this and it’s so heart-warming to see character costumes helping to give so much back to those in need during these challenging times.


5

Take the chance to pause and give your character the day off.

We are always so busy and often character maintenance is at the bottom of the “to do” list.
We have a skilled team on hand to professionally clean and repair your costumes, provide replacement parts and get the ball rolling on new designs or costume elements to help you to plan ahead and give you the edge over your competitors.

If using your character for promotions during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, to minimise any risks, we would strongly recommend that your costume is worn by one person only. We have the “wear and care” instructions for all of our character costumes on file, so please get in touch if you need a copy.
The majority of our characters can be machine-washed, and our ABS vac formed heads can be wiped down with disinfectant.

 

Stay safe and do keep in touch and let us know what your characters have been up to!

 
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facebook.com/costumeswithcharacterltd

instagram.com/costumes_with_character

linkedin.com

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Costumes With Character now an employee-owned trust

Foreword by Liz Milnes, Managing Director

Liz MilnesWhen you create, manage and grow a business, the last thing you think about is your exit strategy, and this for me has been one of the most difficult challenges.

Almost 35 years on, both of my companies, Costumes with Character and Auscoz are considered to be two of the most successful mascot manufacturers in the world, providing mascots and characters for many of the most high-profile companies and character creators on the planet.

But the thing I am most proud about isn’t having founded and grown these two companies, it is having created jobs; interesting, creative and enjoyable work, in a great environment, for so many people, for so many years.

This is why succession planning to ensure the jobs were protected and company continued to grow was so important to me.

I am grateful to Postlethwaites Solicitors who introduced me to the concept of EOTS and created the Trust and structure for CWC.

Liz Milnes

CWC Management Team Costumes With Character EOT Management team: Debbie Aylward, Alison Hilton, Marie Harrison, Amanda Pritchard, Michelle Barton and Clare Kinross

After 34 years of producing high quality, practical and affordable character costumes, founder and MD of Costumes With Character Ltd Liz Milnes has transferred 100% of her company shares in to the Costumes With Character Employee Ownership Trust, which will hold them on behalf of the company’s staff.
Lego
Under the guidance of Postlethwaite Solicitors, Costumes With Character became an employee-owned company. This move is a way of preparing the company for the future by ensuring Costumes With Character remains an independent company, and the job security of the loyal staff (who have invested so much time, talent and effort in to making Costumes With Character the world class brand it is today) is safeguarded.

The success of Costumes With Character is dependent upon the skills
and attitude of the team; selling the company would put it at risk but
transferring its ownership to the staff would secure the company
long-term and preserve its current working culture for the future.

Besides ensuring the company will continue to thrive beyond her
retirement, Liz wanted the staff to see real rewards for their hard
work. This company structure means that the staff can see the
benefits of their hard work by receiving a share of the company’s
profits each year, and also have a say in business decisions.
Costumes with Character EOT Trustees L-R: Alison Dermott, Liz Milnes, Emma Stanton
The senior management team will remain in their existing roles, with
Liz acting as the MD in the transitional period, business decisions
will be made by the management team as a whole, with the trustees (who
are a combination of directors, employees and others with no
commercial stake in the business) ensuring the management team are
acting in the company’s best interests.

Employee Owned Trusts are a fast-growing business structure option in
the UK. Recently there has been growth in employee ownership as a
succession option for small and medium sized businesses and family
businesses.

“…The creation of an employee trust, is the best solution we have
found for keeping Aardman doing what it does best, keeping the teams
in place and providing continuity for our highly creative culture. And
of course, those that create value in the company will continue to
benefit directly from the value they create”.

Peter Lord and David Sproxton – Aardman

“To me, the decision to sell the company to my colleagues was an
obvious one. Nobody knew my business better than the people in it and
we’d created a culture together”

Julian Richer – Richer Sounds

Nickelodeon

Liz Milnes founded and created “Costumes With Character”, Initially called “Situation Clothing”, in 1986. Her background as a costume designer for screen and stage led her to identify a need for high quality, practical, comfortable character costumes. Liz wanted to produce costumes, which not only looked great but also carefully considered the wearer’s requirements and the practicalities needed for costume maintenance, such as ensuring the costumes were washable and individual parts were easily replaceable.

Liz relocated to Australia a number of years ago, after receiving orders from several Australian companies and seizing the opportunity to grow the business in another hemisphere. She set up Costumes With Character’s sister company “Aus Coz” in Currumbin, Queensland and has experienced great success there too, working with Dream World, The Wiggles, The Commonwealth Games 2018, The Invictus Games and The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary among many others.
Aardman Animations
The move provided CWC staff with the opportunity to work in Australia and increased our understanding of the construction materials and methods required to produce costumes that are suitable for warmer climates.
The challenges faced in warmer countries included heat, UV fading and costume elements requiring glues more resilient to temperature than UK costumes. A base in Australia also opened up the possibility of sourcing different materials and technologies that weren’t yet commonplace in the UK.

Liz was actively involved in both businesses on a daily basis and returned to the UK for 3 months every year.

Some of the staff have been with the company from the very beginning and have seen it go from strength to strength.
 


Costumes With Character now produce over 400 costumes and puppets every year for a range of industries and household names including:

Tourism

Tui, Thomas Cook, Bourne Leisure, Parkdean Resorts, Away Resorts, Greenbank Holidays, Pontins

Sports

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC, Leeds United

Leisure

LEGO, Aardman, Nickelodeon, Dreamworks, Sealife, Nando’s, Hollywood Bowl, SPI leisure

Charity

BBC Children in Need, Macmillan, The Christie, Cancer Research

Retail

Early Learning Centre, Marks and Spencer, Silent Night, Unilever, Slush Puppie, Kellogg’s


See full commentary by Liz Milnes
 


See our Work

Read more about employee ownership at Postlethwaits Solicitors: https://postlethwaiteco.comwww.employeeownership.co.uk