Over the last 18 months, Amaya Sales UK has opened two brand new showrooms. The first opened in Nottingham in June 2020 and comprises three separate showrooms with one dedicated to Kornit Digital, including a micro factory workflow set-up. The second opened in Havant in October and houses all of Amaya’s kit offering. P&P editor Melanie Attlesey was invited to an open day to find out more about Amaya’s growth in recent years and plans for the future.
On my visit to Amaya’s new facility in Havant in early November, I was pleasantly surprised by just how welcoming, airy and modern the showroom felt.
Any visitor who is either looking to get started in garment decoration or is just looking to expand their set-up will find a helpful team of experts on hand in both locations to offer their advice and to demonstrate equipment ranging from Melco embroidery machines to UV printers, with a few heat presses in between.
The opening of the two showrooms, warehousing and office space has nearly tripled Amaya’s footprint. A lot of work and effort has gone into making these spaces not just your average showroom, but a place where visitors can feel at home and view the equipment in an operational setting, while at the same time receive advanced training on equipment and consumables that they currently use in their day-to-day businesses.
We are family
No doubt, the team at Amaya will be familiar names and faces to many of our readers. The company is very much family-run and family values lie at the heart of the company ethos. With each team member treated like family, along with each and every customer.
Four people are involved with the day-to-day running of Amaya. At the head of the family is Peter Wright, Amaya’s managing director. Having worked with embroidery machines for over 40 years, from his early years as a technician, there isn’t anything he doesn’t know about the equipment. He formed Amaya Sales UK in 2003 when he began to distribute the new Melco 16 needle modular embroidery machine to the UK market. Peter realised very early on that digital print was to become a very integral part of the business to support Amaya’s growing customer base. And so, Amaya became an early adopter of direct to garment print technology, when it was in its infancy around 15 years ago.
Peter’s son Julian joined the family business in03. Now working as the company’s sales director, it is his role to evaluate what equipment is right for their customers and what will be the most effective, regardless of whether they are a start-up business working out of their home or garage or a large company focusing on mass customisation. “It’s about finding that solution for them and that’s how we partner with our customers,” says Julian.
The financial director is Charlotte Darling, although she is anything but. Both Peter and Julian joke that it is Charlotte that really runs the Amaya ship. It was in 2010 that Charlotte first became involved with Amaya. Her own experience stems from retailing, printing T shirts and textiles. She first printed a T shirt with her dad at the age of 12 in her family’s chain of retail shops, which specialised in stock transfer designs being printed on-demand in front of customers. She quickly became an asset to the growing business.
The fourth member of the management team is John Harrison. Recently promoted to technical director, he has worked with Peter since the age of 16 as an apprentice and has seen every possible change in the garment decoration industry over the last two decades. “We are a team of experts,” says Charlotte. “We come in all different shapes and sizes, but it’s a high level of experience that everyone has got here in the products that we sell.”
“While our background is in embroidery, we have been involved with DTG from the very first year effectively,” says Peter. Charlotte adds: “So when people talk about expertise, we’ve had the expertise from the very beginning.”
Developed and expanded
Over the years, Amaya has developed and expanded its product range to suit the garment decoration industry. This has included the addition of Polyprint Texjet DTG printers, Oki white toner printers and Forever transfer papers, Kornit Digital DTG system and most recently, a selection of UV and print and cut machines from Roland DG. Peter says adding Roland to the product line-up was the final piece in the jigsaw. The team have to stand behind the equipment that they offer and believe it is the right solution for the market and with this complete offering the team is confident that whether it is an embroidery machine or a DTG printer that the product is the right fit for their customer’s business.
After discussing family values, customer service and product offering, talk then turned to Kornit. Kornit is one of the biggest names in global printing right now, with a huge focus on sustainable on-demand fashion manufacturing. “We all feel Amaya’s relationship with Kornit has focused us to work harder and better than ever before to deliver the best for our customers. Kornit’s vision within this industry is inspiring,” adds Peter.
But what do these high-end on-demand systems offer decorators? Charlotte explains: “It’s the continued strive to educate the market to the benefits of print on-demand and how you can reduce your workforce, how you can reduce your cost-per-print and how your production can be so flexible. It’s those three things that out-weigh your X amount a month capital cost,” says Charlotte.
She adds: “The strange thing about print on-demand is that the industry has almost gone full circle. We were printing on-demand 30 years ago in our shops.”
Growth in many forms
Right now, Amaya is not just experiencing growth with Kornit. All areas of the business are undergoing a period of growth, from Melco to Oki and everything in between. Customers are able to grow along with Amaya by first purchasing their entry-level printers in the form of Texjet and as their businesses grow, moving on to the mass-production capabilities of the Kornit systems. DTG definitely is not a one-size-fits-all and Amaya has various options for customers as that side of their business scales.
Growth has also come in another form. The team has grown from 20 people to 28 in recent months, with the eight new additions coming in the form of engineers on the road and technical support in-house. This growth in the support field enables Amaya to support its customers’ growth and development in the years to come.
And it’s this growth which is the reason behind the development of the showrooms in Nottingham and Havant. Somewhere to store and showcase Amaya’s wide-ranging and ever-growing product portfolio in what Peter terms permanent exhibition and training venues.
Julian adds: “We are so excited by the opening of our new distribution and demo centre in Havant. Coupled with the move we made in Nottingham last year, we feel we are now able to deliver an even better experience to our customers. The investment in the new premises and by increasing our support department by a further eight team members will hopefully demonstrate just how much we value their partnership.”
The future for Amaya is clearly looking very bright. Peter, Julian, Charlotte and John are very much looking forward to what can be achieved in 2022. With the full portfolio of products and two sizeable showrooms, they want to improve upon Amaya’s support to their existing customers and those looking to get started in the industry. “The success of our customers is our future, so we just want to do what we have been doing better than ever before,” concludes Peter.
And so, in 2022 Amaya Sales UK embarks on a new chapter in its history with new showrooms, larger office and warehouse space, a bolstered team and a product portfolio to be proud of.