DB Shoes were the first Chamber Awards national winner back in 2004.
DB Shoes are a traditional British manufacturing company founded in 1920 in Northamptonshire, the centre of British footwear manufacturing, by identical twins Jack and Bill Denton. The company is now run by third generation family members, Charles and David Denton, who are also identical twins.
In 2004 DB Shoes was in a period of change as David and Charles embarked on a strategic plan to update the traditional manufacturing base to ensure it was able to meet the requirements of the market place they wanted to operate in. They did this by incorporating modern software systems which were developed in-house, as David would say, by “cobblers” with no prior software knowledge. It was the execution of this plan which earned DB shoes their Chamber Awards win, the combination of a business with such heritage intertwined with very modern and forward thinking ambitions shone through for the judges.
Winning the Chamber Awards came at a crucial time for the business and the cash prize was a welcome boost, more importantly it gave David and Charles the confidence that they were on the right path, the result being DB Shoes is still thriving today.
Speaking to David recently, he told us how he almost didn’t enter the Awards; having received the entry form he just wasn’t sure they had a chance and threw it into the bin. However, something niggled at him and later that same day he decided to get the entry form out of the bin and give it a go. David and Charles were so shocked at winning the regional Award that they didn’t give themselves a chance at national level and weren’t even going to attend the gala Awards ceremony, luckily the Northamptonshire Chamber persuaded them to come along as their guests – and what a night it turned out to be.