It was back in the summer of ’75…
No, that’s not the start of a song, but when the idea of our business first came about.
When asked to get some T-shirts printed for a scuba diving & camping holiday on the Isles of Scilly (as seen in the photo above), Richard Pillow first got drawn into the embroidery industry!
When he returned home, he put all his money into his very first embroidery machine. This was the start of Fifty Degrees, or ‘Personal Touch Embroidery’ as it was known back then.
Rick travelled far and wide to deliver personalised garments to his clients, from his local pub darts team and plumber, to golf clubs and larger corporate organisations. No order was too big or small and the business soon expanded to embroidery, screen printing and heat transfer services – all produced under one roof in Exeter. He continued to do this for the next 40 years (and counting). In 1992, Rick met Sarah, who soon joined the business in Devon and they have been working in-collaboration ever since.
Trade shows and exhibitions have been an important part of our business calendar for many years and you may have even met us at events like the London or Southampton Boat Shows, Cork Week in Ireland or even Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight where we open up a shop every summer.
Exhibiting at shows like these has established and strengthened our relationships with customers and fellow manufacturers in the industry. We could write a series of books detailing the many fascinating conversations we’ve had with people at these shows. We’ve been inspired by what people have had to say about the clothing sector, and developed our product lines and services to reflect this.
Supplying embroidered and printed goods to our clients over the years opened our eyes to the significant void that was missing in Devon. We often used to comment that when people came to visit the picturesque landscapes and seaside, there was very little they could take home with them that celebrated our local area in the stylish-clothing department.
So, in 2005, Fifty Degrees Clothing was established, retailing its own brand of printed and embroidered designs reflecting our love for sailing and the seaside, amongst other products.
2020 marks the fourth birthday of our outlet in the quaint and traditional seaside-town of Budleigh Salterton. It is situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in East Devon and at the beginning of the breath-taking Jurassic Coast, perfect for a seaside hike.
We are a small, family-run business and are so proud of all we have achieved. But we wouldn't be where we are today without our dedicated and hard-working employees (some of whom have been with us from the beginning) and also our loyal customers.
Sarah & Rick