Earlier this month, drivers passing along the road outside our premises in Cross Hands Business Park, will have been intrigued at the sight of a giant, steel elephant being hoisted into position outside our factory. For some, this was a first glimpse of Ellie, our much-loved logo. For others – including many of us at Shufflebottom – it signalled the long-awaited return of this iconic landmark.
We’re proud of Ellie at Shufflebottom. She represents everything we stand for as a business: solid and dependable in our operations; strength and power in our products; intelligence and wisdom in our customer relationships; and, of course, as elephants never forget, a good memory of the fact that although today, the scale of our business is large, we are an enterprise with family values at our heart.
At Shufflebottom we’re emotionally attached to Ellie and we hope our customers, suppliers and contractors, will see her taking pride-of-place outside our business and feel affection for her too. For despite a recent make-over, Ellie goes back a long way.
It was over thirty years ago that Shufflebottom’s founding owners, Martin and Lorna Shufflebottom, commissioned a local degree student to put forward concepts for a logo. The owners originally discussed the idea of a giraffe as a route forward as they had a yellow forklift on the premises, nicknamed ‘The Giraffe’. Thankfully, they were overruled by the creative possibilities and deeper resonance of the elephant, and later, the original Ellie was forged from steel and cut out by hand by one of our employees, ‘Harry the Haunch’ using an oxyacetylene burning torch. Soon after, she went up on a steel beam high up outside our factory, standing upright, and very visible to all those who came in proximity to our factory and spread Shufflebottom’s growing story of success across the UK.
As the business expanded, we needed more space for staff and visitors to park and unfortunately Ellie had to come down. In the intervening years she has been much-missed; but now almost thirty years later, Claudine, a local sign-writer, has applied a fresh coat of paint to Ellie, who now stands resplendent out front. Ellie symbolises a new era in our business and where we’re going; but also an important and firm connection to our roots and where we’ve come from.
“I am super excited that Ellie is back. She is the physical embodiment of the Shufflebottom story and an integral part of our brand ethos.”