The Jones Family Openhouse

Openhouse Finalists at 2024 North West Family Business Awards

Wirral firm Openhouse Products finalist in the North West Family Business Awards 2024

Openhouse, based on the Wirral, are celebrating after […]

Wirral firm Openhouse Products finalist in the North West Family Business Awards 2024

Openhouse, based on the Wirral, are celebrating after being shortlisted as a finalist in the Manufacturing category for this year’s North West Family Business Awards 2024.

Openhouse through the years - North West Family Business Awards

The awards champion family businesses across Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, and Merseyside. They provide a fantastic opportunity to celebrate successes in style, so it is an honour for Openhouse to have been recognised. Particularly alongside so many other incredible organisations in the region.

Openhouse was launched in 1992 by Chairman Brian Jones, who at the time was a Singer sewing machine repairman. Brian said: “We were burning the midnight oil, working through the night to finish one of our first really big orders – laptop carriers as it happened – when the husband of one of our seamstresses turned up to collect her. He was a firefighter. He took one look at the laptop bag I was in the middle of making and said, ‘That would make a superb kit bag for paramedics.’”

“Surprised by his response, I asked him; ‘Didn’t paramedics have professional bags already?’

The Start of Something Special

It was a real Eureka! moment. The very next day I went to the local ambulance station. There, I spoke to the crews about their kit and quickly learned how difficult it could be to keep track of it all. Not to mention getting hold of exactly what they needed in an emergency situation. I went straight home and started sketching ideas – and the rest, as they say, is history!

Today, Openhouse is the leading bag manufacturer for the Emergency Services and Health sector across the UK. The business also supplies a wide range of off-the-shelf bags, medical equipment, and consumables. OH expanded to supply some of the largest and most hard-working public and private sector companies in eight different countries.

It is still very much a family-run business at heart, with Brian and wife Helen’s three children, Andrew, Laura, and Samantha, taking over the reins as directors. They now lead a team of 42 staff determined to provide the highest-quality products and services available in the market.

What it Means to be Nominated for the North West Family Business Awards

Sales and Marketing Director, Samantha Proctor says:

“We are proud of the fact we run a successful family business, and to be shortlisted as a finalist in the North West Family Business Awards is a fantastic accomplishment for the entire Openhouse team. We are all very proud to be part of the Awards and looking forward to celebrating the success of all the finalists.”

Family Values at the Forefront

Openhouse’s family values are spread widely across all areas of the business and their people are at the forefront of this. Samantha says;

“Without the continued dedication of each individual within the Openhouse extended family, we wouldn’t be able to function or deliver what our customers require. Being shortlisted as a finalist is an acknowledgement of all their hard work.”

Head of Manufacturing’s Viewpoint

Head of Manufacturing, Josh Reid said:

“We constantly strive to be the best and most efficient manufacturer. We are proud to make the highest-quality medical bags for meaningful applications that can make a real difference in saving lives.

As a time-served British manufacturer, our skillsets have been passed down through the generations of the team since 1992 to new and emerging talent.

Our passion for producing items built to last, combined with the latest industry and equipment advancements means we as a team and company never stop developing.”

When are the North West Family Business Awards?

The awards ceremony is being held in Bolton on Friday 10 May. The Openhouse team are excited to attend what promises to be an unforgettable evening showcasing family run businesses. 

The Family Business Community North West Awards Finalists