This is the third in our series of showcasing entrepreneurs from within our Company.
Godfrey Morris MBE set up Crowncraft Leather in Woolwich SE London whist still serving in the military in September 2020 during lockdown.
The name Crowncraft was a tribute to his twenty two years of crown service as a Mounted Gunner in the prestigious Regiment King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. During his time in The King’s Troop he was taught to ride a horse, basic stable management, care and maintenance of the harness, along with the firing of Royal Salutes for royal anniversaries and state occasions, and the famous musical drive at the Royal Windsor Horse Show amongst others.
It was while looking after harnesses that Godfrey began to explore the thought of “Where is it all made”. After making enquiries with the then Master Saddler, Godfrey began training on the Millennium Apprenticeship Scheme in 2004. A programme developed by The Worshipful Company of Saddlers and The Society of Master Saddlers leading to a City & Guilds qualification.
He also completed his military saddlery training which involved the making, repairing and maintenance of military harnesses and accoutrements. This equipment, designed well over a century ago, played a vital role in the horse drawn vehicles and equipment used by soldiers during WW1 and other conflicts. After completion of his apprenticeship he continued to develop his leatherworking skills and still continues to do so today.
Another passion of Godrey’s is teaching. Over the years he trained many apprentices, passing on his knowledge and skills.
Towards the end of his Army career, while on a full-time salary, he was able to start to invest in tools, materials and machinery in the preparation for leaving the services. Enabling him to self-fund the set-up of Crowncraft Leather without the need for external finance. Now an army veteran, Godfrey is focused on growing Crowncraft Leather, using skills and years of experience, while further developing his passion for producing high-quality bespoke leather goods. Allowing him to display exceptional craftsmanship skills, incorporate a personalised touch and create beautiful and timeless one-of-a-kind items that are highly sought after and will last a lifetime. Godfrey and Crowncraft’s reputation continues to grow as his commissions are gained by word of mouth and recommendations, giving business growth at a manageable level.
Godfrey’s advice for anyone starting, is; never feel you’re alone, as there is plenty of assistance and encouragement available within the saddlery trade, especially from individual Master Saddlers. It is worthwhile exploring what is locally available. He feels that help is all around, having been supported by other saddlers and leather workers within this friendly community. Additionally, his links with Saddlers Company and SMS have definitely helped.
“Strive for excellence, set yourself high targets, be bold, don’t be afraid of making mistakes, ask silly questions, be inquisitive and practice, practice, practice!” Godfrey Morris MBE.
Social media links.
Facebook: crowncraft leather
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