About Lowery Workstands
The first Lowery Workstand was made on a rural pig farm in North Lincolnshire in 1986, when Rosemary Lowery asked her husband Keith to build her a stand to hold her embroidery frames as a birthday present. She was a talented embroiderer and painter, and Keith (known by his family as PK), a farmer and inventor, got to work. After a fair bit of trial and error, the result was the Lowery Workstand as we know it today.
When Rosemary took her newly created stand along to her embroidery class, her teacher tried it out and was impressed. “I have been doing this for more than forty years and this is the first decent stand I’ve tried! Do you think Keith would make one for me?!”
Starting a new business hadn’t occurred to PK, who had been busy as a pig farmer for forty-five years. However, in 1986 the UK government was urging farmers to diversify their businesses, and although PK’s natural instinct has always been to disregard official advice and find a better way himself, for some reason on this occasion he went with it.
And so Lowery Workstands, as a business, was born. Our workstands are still hand-made on that same farm in North Lincolnshire, and the business is still family-run.
On a busy farm, when things need fixing, there is only time to do it once. Things need to work well and last forever. Following this philosophy, Lowery products are made to be durable – in fact, the very first workstand is still alive and kicking!
We use hard wearing steel to make all of our stands, and when we powder coat them, we do it just up the road in Grimsby. Where possible, we like to do everything locally.
We are very much a a family business. Ben is PK and Rosemary’s eldest grandchild and has been a regular in PK’s workshop from the age of two until he completed his degree, when ‘regular’ became full time and he took over the family business. While Ben still does the CAD drawings for Lowery, Gemma; artist, pizza chef and welder (and coincidentally Ben’s wife), now runs the workshop and business. She welds the stands by hand, bends the metal, smooths the edges and came up with our beautiful coloured powder coated series. Local lads, Adi and Phil, help out in the workshop, and occasionally a Lowery cousin will pop their head in and lend a hand. Angela does the books and keeps the business on track financially, and Becky manages the stores.
(I’m Freya, another of PK’s grandchildren, and I run our social media channels. If you message us, it’ll usually be me replying. I live in London but go home as often as possible to visit the workshop!)
Rosemary died in 2005, but her creative energy and her embroideries continue to inspire us. PK supposedly retired in 2007, though he still has a keen interest in the research and design aspects of the business.