We’ve always enjoyed a good story, so we thought we’d tell you ours.
At university, we would spend all day every day in the campus workshop. Bill our supervisor, would kick us out each day at 4:00 pm. We would never be ready to leave when it was time for him to lock up, so we’d leave the window slightly open, go home for dinner, come back and climb in the window to continue with our various projects.
As our time at University was coming to an end we thought we should apply for graduate roles. However, we were enjoying our days in the workshop so much that we decided we didn’t want to do anything else and consequently didn’t apply for any. This was where it all started.
First things first, we had to decide on the name. George & Willy or Willy & George? We worked it out by playing a good ol’ fashioned game of rock, paper, scissors. George won, the name was sorted and we got underway.
The next five or so years were spent creating all sorts of products, from swings to tables to duffel bags, whilst painting houses to pay for the materials. The first thing we made was a lamp. We did a photoshoot of the lamp and decided to make a trestle desk to put the lamp on. Turned out the desk looked better than the lamp so we decided to sell those too. Before we knew it, we were selling a range of products. If you’re selling things you’ve made you’ve got a business, right?
It was this love of product design that lead us to design signage for our own workshop. It didn’t take too long to work out that everyone who visited our workshop loved our signs. So we made the decision to start creating and selling signs to other businesses. We had learned that signage matters.
Since then, we have focused on creating signage products that we like, that we’d buy for our own stores, in the hope that other people like them too. We’re now selling signage all over the world from Anchorage Alaska to Melbourne, Australia.
In 2020, to make the most of the great outdoors we moved the business to a small ski town in New Zealand, called Wanaka, for the best part of six months, during the Covid lockdowns. We have always had a love for the outdoors and have made skiing, fishing, or riding motorbikes around the South Island of New Zealand a big part of life at George & Willy.
Whether it be exploring the outdoors, or designing quality signage, we love what we do and we hope you do too.
If you are ever visiting Mount Maunganui, make sure you let us know and we’d love to show you around the workshop and studio.
George & Willy