You’ve heard the phrase ‘family firm’.
Now, meet the people behind an award-winning business where eight family members all work together.
CMS Teamwear and Cobra Workwear in Pontyclun was established 14 years ago by couple Terry and Sian Davies.
Director Aled Davies said:
“My father Terry had bought a company which was then County Mineral Supplies.
“It was a coal merchant and supplier of gas bottles – so very different to what we do today.
“We were asked to supply safety boots, so my dad did that and gradually, the business moved away from its origins and became a sports teamwear, workwear and safety wear company.”
The business became CMS & Sons Limited, with two trading businesses, CMS Teamwear and Cobra Workwear, both of which are run by the family.
The family working in the business are:
- Sian and Terry Davies – the company founders and directors
- Their sons Rhys (33), Aled (30), and Gethin Davies (27) – directors
- The boys’ aunt Natalie Williams – who runs the business’s machines
- Rhys’ wife Leanne – who works part time in the business
- Aled’s wife Danielle – who works in accounts
As its order book grew, and it secured large clients such as G4S, the business expanded and now occupies 7,500 sq ft in three units at Coedcae Lane industrial estate.
Now, it provides branded workwear, safety wear, school uniforms, branded sports kit, branded promotional goods, and embroidery and transfer printing, and screen printing services.
The business had a turn-over of just under £1 million last year, and the family has ambitions to grow that to a £5 million annual turn-over in five years. It currently employs an additional six people alongside the family members.
The story behind the company’s success won it the Remarkable Business Award at the Zokit Springconf in May. It was also a finalist in the Business Evolution Award and Aled Davies was a finalist in the Young Entrepreneur Award.
“We were so surprised to win the Remarkable Business Award. When hadn’t even realised we were shortlisted for it!
“We had relaxed after realising we hadn’t won in the previous two categories…then I realised I would have to go on stage and make a speech.
“It’s an honour that the judges thought our story was so remarkable.
“My brothers and me have been brought up in the business. All of us helped out as children.
“Both Rhys and Gethin worked in the business from the age of 16 after finishing school. I went back to school to do my A levels as I was going to do something else but decided against finishing them and joined the business just before I was 17.
“With so many of the family working together, people often ask me how we keep the business and our personal lives separate.
“That can be an issue! Very often if we are at a family party, it will end up with some of us talking about the business.”
When it comes to the next generation of the family, it’s too early to say whether any of them would like to carry on the tradition.
“I have a three-year-old daughter, and a second child on the way, and Rhys has twin boys aged three.
“Will they want to work in the business? We’ll have to wait and see!” Aled said.