282-284 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
Local business owner Greer McCallum talks to Vic Park Biz News about how Tudor House got started and what it means to be successful for 90 years in business.
How did Tudor House get started?
My mother, Daphne Graham, and father, Tudor Graham, started the business together in 1930.
Originally they traded in East Victoria Park until after the war, at which time they relocated to Hay Street and William Street in Perth until 1954, then relocated to Victoria Park on the corner of Albany Highway and Harvey Street.
Prior to the war they manufactured blinds, awnings and canvas goods.
During the war they also manufactured tents, gators and waterbags. My mother worked out how to manufacture the Australian flag, and at that time they were only available fully sewn. To this day they are still manufactured the same way that Daphne developed. These days printed flags are quite popular.
Both my parents worked very hard in the business. Dad passed away in 1968 and Mum continues working until she was 81 years old and passed away in 2010. The business continues to be run by family to this day.
Tudor House is celebrating 90 years of business this year. What is your secret to a successful business?
We have been successful for 90 years as a family owned and operated business. Throughout these years the focus has always remained very much on customer service, quality products and building customer relations. In terms of our secrets to a successful business, for us, it’s been about staying in the same general vicinity, ensuring that our employees are happy and taking a personal approach to customers to accommodate their needs. We have had several employees with more than 20 years service, with one employee in particular – Lorna Simmonds, coming up for 40 years service with us.
How have you seen your business, and business in general, evolve over the years?
In relation to printing flags and banners, up until around 20 years ago, screen printing and applique (sewn) were the only processes. Now most of our printing is supplied as a digital print. Introduction of computers to the business in 1981 has made the accounting process much easier. Prior to then, art work proofs were black and white and sent to the customer via fax. Now we email a coloured layout for the customer to approve before printing. Therefore technology has improved the supply of goods and managing the business generally.
What is your favourite part of working in a family business?
My favourite part of working in a family business is that it has kept our family close together.
How have you seen Vic Park change over the years and why do you love being located in Vic Park?
I have seen many changes over the years from a very basic business precinct to a lovely clean, vibrant, thriving community. Our end of Albany Highway has a nice almost village feel to it!
To find out more about Tudor House, visit their website or call 9470 2717.