Alan and Lesley Snell are celebrating 30 years of ALJ in Lanark
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The team at ALJ Work and Leisurewear in Lanark are doing just that though. The firm was founded on August 1, 1993, by Alan and Lesley Snell.
With their daughter, Jenni, aged just one at the time, Alan and Lesley amalgamated the first letters of their names to launch the store. And the family firm is now celebrating 30 years of serving the community, schools and local businesses of Lanark.
Lesley said: “It’s been our greatest pleasure to have seen generations of young people pass through our doors for their school uniform and to provide the stitchwork behind many of the local businesses that we all cherish.
“We’d like to share our great gratitude to the people of Lanark for being with us on the journey.”
Working from home may be the new normal, but that’s how ALJ started – as a humble home-based family business. As the firm grew, so too did the Snell family with Alan and Lesley having two sons, Steven and Cameron.
While their children have mostly flown the nest, the couple have been blessed to have work daughter Arlene Peat at their side since 2011.
In 1998, the couple started running deliveries from a better equipped industrial unit. They soon moved again to finally become the proud owners of a Lanark High Street shop in 2005.
They have since moved the shopfront three times between the Wellgate and St Leonard Street, where the company is now based.
Lesley said: “We’ve been able to thrive as a family business in Lanark, serving our amazing community.
“To date, we are immensely proud to provide the uniforms, workwear and embroidery for over 300 local businesses and clubs, including 50 schools and nurseries, three colleges, five Young Farmers’ Clubs, five Scouts and Guides groups, and six of our amazingly talented local dance schools.
“It is utterly humbling to have been entrusted by so many important pillars of our community to provide uniforms and supplies, and it is our commitment to always meet that trust with high standards for everyone that walks through our doors or buys online.”
It’s not always been plain sailing, with the impact of the Covid pandemic having been sorely felt.
However, Lesley added: “We in Lanark know how to pull together and we’ve seen nothing but support from everyone who’s come out to back our high street shops.
“That said, we’ve not missed the opportunity to adapt the business to support customers with a fully functional online shop, which includes delivery or collection options.
“It’s also been our great pleasure to support the Lanimer processions with costume supply donations and fundraisers. Cameron was the first in the family to hold a court role as Sceptre Bearer in 2013...I doubt we’ll see Alan grace the top of a horse for the Lord Cornet’s procession!
“It’s having traditions like these, and a high street within which to do them, that keeps our communities alive. It’s certainly been our pleasure to serve the amazing people and local businesses of Lanark for 30 years and we look forward to many more ahead.”