About Gilli ReevesAfter her formal education at Sydenham High School for Girls, Gilli gained a Diploma (with Distinction) at The London College of Furniture and Design; her core subjects were Interior Design and Textile Design. Going to college at just 17, finances were tight but she was able to maintain herself by producing her first range of pillows and soft furnishing items. Her outlets included a weekend stall at The Covent Garden Craft Market; this gave her valuable commercial experience as well as some very welcome income.
Graduating in 1979, she took on the formidable challenge of combining artistic flair with hard-nosed business acumen and during the next three years enjoyed employment with exclusive textile retailer Suzanne Garry, of Walton Street and H.J.Tomkins & Sons, Royal Warrant Holders and suppliers and fitters of interior fabrics and furnishings.
Her natural flair for design, her formal training and her acquired business skills were sufficient for her to gain the position of Senior Designer at Heal and Son, in London’s West End. International clients during the 1980s property boom, with their demands for functional design and sumptuous décor, were well served by this quality store and its first-class interior design department. Gilli – still only in her early 20s – was at the forefront of this, catering to the demands of Middle Eastern families, British nobility and the Internationally rich & famous.
Her professional activity was put on hold for the birth of her two daughters in the late 80s, but this simply gave her creativity new realms in which to flourish. The inventive hands never ceased and baby clothes, bedroom interiors and playroom furnishings effortlessly took the place of sample boards and fabric swatches. Her house, shared with husband, Jonathan, and the girls, has been featured in local lifestyle magazines and even their garden displays her creative touch!
Read on to find out about the corporate development’s within Gilli’s life and the exponential success that she has enjoyed through her natural talent, hard work and design genius.
About Adornment by Gilli ReevesGilli’s professional ability and ambition was never likely to remain dormant for long and in 1991 she decided to create her own business. As a creative designer she had talent that needed to be expressed, aspirations that needed fulfilment and ideas in her head that needed to be developed and realised. As a businesswoman she needed to create saleable products, find raw-material suppliers and attract enthusiastic buyers. She also needed an appropriate name – something descriptive and encapsulating but above all charismatic. So it was that Adornment by Gilli Reeves was created and Gilli’s designing and manufacturing talents had become a commercial reality once more.
Pillows, nightdress cases and other soft furnishing items began appearing at local Craft Fairs and charity functions. Then came stalls further afield as Gilli worked tirelessly to establish her unique, design-led range. Independent stores were also taking an interest and by the Christmas of 1992 Gilli’s range was ‘adorning’ the windows of retailers across the South of England.
The identity and activity of Adornment was moving inexorably from the parochial ‘cottage industry’ to the quality ‘national supplier’ with which shops across the country are now familiar. The range of items offered grew correspondingly greater and included iconic products such as the Tooth Fairy Pillow and Wedding Ring Pillow. After several years of successful Craft Fair activity, Gilli embarked upon her first trade show: Top Drawer at London’s Earls Court and it was not long before professional buyers from across the country were commissioning her bespoke ranges.
In 1996 the company had its first stand at The Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham and the event remains high on the companies list of annually attended trade shows to this day. 2002 saw the launch of the original Adornment by Gilli Reeves website www.adornmentuk.com. The site gave millions of potential client’s access to the ever increasing range of gifts, whether from the trade or retail sectors.
An instantly popular array of hand-painted greetings cards were added to the Adornment offering in 2005. To begin with the designs reflected the best-sellers within the pillows range but now there is just about a card for every occasion with 96 different images available across two contrasting styles. One bonus for Adornment customers is the inclusion of Greetings Cards for Men within the range – something that Gilli’s clients had been requesting for a number of years.
This stunning interactive site has eye-catching visuals, user-friendly navigation, Shopping Carts, PayPal, credit card facilities and an online enquiry system. It showcases the personally designed, ‘Made in England’ products of Adornment by Gilli Reeves and opens up the entire range of over 350 items to both Trade and Retail customers alike. It combines traditionally crafted products with 21st Century technology and places Adornment at the forefront of the UK’s online giftware market.
That said, there’s still the chance to meet Gilli personally at fairs and exhibitions and there’s never a dull moment within the company, so why not be the first to know what’s going on, what’s new and where it’s at by following Gilli’s Blog
Trade Shows, Retail Fairs and online activity all combine to offer customers the extensive Adornment range, a range that began with a handful of products almost 20 years ago. With such a success story behind her, and increasing national and international demand, the temptation for Gilli to mass produce and flood the market with sub-standard items is obvious. Nothing, however, could be further from her mind; every item carries her name as well as her unique design style and Adornment by Gilli Reeves remains a very personal business producing high quality, personal gifts.
Thank you for your interest in the company; Gilli hopes you enjoy what you see, what you purchase or what you have been given. If you wish to contact her please use the details on the Contact page.
Gilli pictured on the Adornment by Gilli Reeves stand at The Autumn Fair, NEC Birmingham September 2010.