Grenson Shoes was started by just one man, William Green. He was born in 1835 but his father unfortunately passed away in 1839 when William was only 4 years old. He moved away from his place of birth with his mother soon after and they ended up in Rushden in Northamptonshire. In fact it was William’s mother who taught him his trade as he helped her to produce mens boots at home. It was only a cottage-based business but at that time, most shoemaking was still a cottage industry. He continued to help his mother until 1860 when he moved out of home. He then continued the business in his own home until 1866.
In 1866, William stopped producing shoes and boots in his house and instead became a “factor”. This essentially meant he went out to get the orders, find the materials and employ craftsmen to fulfill the orders. The obvious next step for him was to formalize this arrangement and set up a company, which became known as William Green & Son. Back and forth to London as part of his new role, William made more and more sales to wholesalers and it was not long before his mens shoes and boots became famous for their quality, craftmansship and durability.
The company attracted some of the finest shoe craftsmen in the business and William organised for the first factory to be opened in 1874. The “Greens Yard” factory was one of the first factories in the world to use the Goodyear welt construction method for manufacturing gentlemen’s shoes. “Green & Son” soon became Grenson, a powerful brand which still dominates the shoe industry today.
Today Grenson operates under Mr. Tim Little, who in 2010. became the owner and creative director of the company. Mr. Tim Little is a great name in the shoe industry, he has worked or designed for brands such as Tod’s, Dunhill, Joseph at Connolly, Gieves and Hawkes etc. Mr. Little has his own collection of shoes “Tim Little Shoes“ that are produced in Grenson’s factory.