Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - March/April 2024

JOE DAVIES TO BECOME 100 PERCENT EMPLOYEE OWNED Manchester-based giftware importer and distributor Joe Davies has announced that it is to become a 100 percent employeeowned business. The shareholding of the business will be held by the Joe Davies Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) for the benefit of all employees. The existing management team remains in place, headed up by CEO Steve Davies, it was Steve’s great grandfather Joe that set up the business 105 years ago. Davies commented; “I’m very proud to be able to say that the transition of the company to a 100 percent employee-owned business will see Joe Davies being run, and owned, by the very people that make Joe Davies what it is. “While I’m not retiring any time soon and my dad Peter is still very much involved with Joe Davies, there is no fifth generation of family coming through. For Peter and I an EOT is the perfect solution to secure our staff’s livelihoods and to look after my Grandpa Joe’s legacy. This allows Joe Davies to continue in its own special way and serve our lovely customers for many years to come.” Whilst employee ownership is not new, with perhaps the most famous example being John Lewis, it is one of the fastest growing ownership models in the UK. Paul Hooker, Managing Director commented: “The whole team at Joe Davies are immensely proud and honoured to be with the Company as we transition to being an employeeowned business. Day to day this will ensure that there is no change in the way we operate or shift in our values.” The deal has been some time in its preparation, with the business guided and supported by both the Employee Ownership Association and advisors Baxendale Employee Ownership, a specialist law firm who have been helping companies transition for over 14 years. Simon Everingham, of Baxendale said: “Joe Davies really are the perfect fit for the EOT model and have enthusiastically embraced the process. It’s been a real pleasure helping them to take the next step on their journey, which protects the legacy of the family and all that makes the Company so special.” DIVINE SAVAGES OPENS ITS FIRST SHOWROOM Divine Savages is opening its first showroom and working studio in what is being dubbed ‘the unofficial design quarter of Bath’ - Margaret’s Buildings, right between the historic Royal Crescent and The Circus. True to form, with the help of many local tradespeople, founders Jamie Watkins and Tom have created a Maximalist’s dream selling exquisite wallpapers, luxurious fabrics and decorative accessories for the brave and the bold. Co-Founder, Jamie Watkins, hails from Bath and returning to this wonderful city marks a huge milestone in Divine Savages’ journey. He says: “We’re eccentric to the core and love the weird and wonderful. The quirkier the better. We like to push boundaries and design aesthetics and want to encourage our customers to do the same - our showroom is the first step in inspiring them to do so.” Visitors to the showroom can buy off-the-shelf cushions and original, quirky gifts and browse the vast array of wallpapers and fabrics available to order. INDUSTRY NEWS 13