Andrew and Bronwyn Rundle and their team at Rundle Tailoring have taken out the major prize of the night, Hunter Business of the Year 2020 along with Most Outstanding Specialised Retail Business at the Local Business Awards last week.
“Amazed, Surprised and Honoured” Rundle Tailoring owner Andrew Rundle said the business’s win in not one but two categories was completely unexpected.
Rundle Tailoring a family business which has a 112-year history in the region has been a Newcastle staple for business wear, wedding attire, sports coats, made to measure suiting, blazers, Argyle jackets and corporate uniforms.
In the wake of COVID – 19 restrictions, April ranked as the worst month the business has had for decades, Andrew said.
As regular trade faded the team started producing reusable face masks in April and early May to support the community whilst allowing them to keep their factory staff working.
“We made a huge pivot in July… when Victoria went back into lockdown” earning them a finalist nomination in the Hunter Manufacturing Awards – Pivot Award and being a guest panellist in the Hunter Business Chambers ‘Seizing Opportunity’ webinar Andrew said
“Just starting through social media, sales of face masks took off. We went from making 100 masks a day to 500 a day within a week of face mask becoming compulsory to wear in Victoria and still we could not keep up with the demand, said Andrew.
As Australia has emerged from lockdown, and confidence grew that events such as weddings could now go ahead, the business has once again built in strength and is delighted to be fitting out gents for special occasions and grooms for their upcoming nuptials. Being the Winner of the Brides Choice Awards in 2020 for Men’s Formal Wear for the third year running they are the destination of choice for grooms’ attire in the Hunter Region and afar.
Rundle Tailoring’s core business remains the tailoring of suits on the premises, as well as acting as a suit retailer. What sets the business apart is its focus on its clients.
“Most customers come into the store and say we’re different to other places because we’re not trying to push them into something they don’t want” Andrew said.
“ Apart from the suits we make ourselves, we have a lot of brands in our shop that are cut beautifully and it’s not hard once you’ve put a nicely cut suit on a customer, for them to see the benefits of it.
“That’s what we pride ourselves on doing – making people look good”
It is a passion that is shared by the people working within the business, from retail floor to those working in the factory who are all ensuring quality and great fit.
Andrew credited his wife Bronwyn, for her passion for presenting the business well, not only in store, but on social media.
The award win came as an unexpected bonus to the end of the year.
“It’s a wonderful thing for the business” Andrew said
“Bronwyn and I would like to thank the community that has supported our family business for so many years and continued to support us during this uncertain year, our amazing staff who rose to the challenge of pivoting from making suits to reusable face masks to help our community and business navigate our way through the global pandemic and the Local Business Awards organisers for this huge honour and once again putting on a magnificent awards night. Andrew said.
“It’s actually an incredible thing that the awards went ahead for the people who had entered and then were nominated as a finalist to actually attend the awards on the night after what’s been a tough year for most of us.
“To come home with two wins is the cherry on top.
“All business are winners to have survived this year and these wins were unexpected and give us quite a bit of motivation to keep kicking on into 2021.”
Photography credits: Little Black Bow Photography & Local Business Awards
Extract from Newcastle Herald Local Business Award Winner Feature 2020.