In 1978, aged just 20 and 19, respectively, brothers David and Timothy set up Addison Ross and opened a gallery on London’s Eaton Terrace. The gallery enjoyed significant royal patronage, becoming a hotspot for designers architects looking to commission its talented artists. In the early 80s, the brothers also opened a studio on the Scottish borders to make hand-gilded and veneered frames, fast developing a reputation for design and elegance.
In 1989, David met his now-wife Sarah and it was clear from the beginning she shared his passion for creativity. On a trip to what is now their factory, nestled in Northumbria’s Cheviots Hills, Sarah selected some moulding and set about making photograph frames. Receiving many compliments for the designs, they created a debut collection. Very quickly, these were stocked all over the country, then the world, appearing in the grandest homes. It was a very exciting time,’ Sarah remembers.
Along the way, they have enjoyed amazing experiences, particular highlights being a million-pound order placed by Marks & Spencer and creating collections for The Lanesborough and The Balmoral hotels. The Nineties and Noughties saw Addison Ross launching in the USA, Europe and the Far East and exhibiting twice yearly in New York, Atlanta, Paris and Frankfurt.
In 2008, Timothy left the business to start a new venture with his wife Emma, a highly successful company designing and manufacturing fire pits in Wales.
It was only a few years ago that the business made its greatest changes. A lightbulb moment occurred when it was considering the idea for a suitable gift with purchase: ‘We realised that everyone who buys a frame wants the same thing,’ says Sarah, ‘the printed photo to go in it.’ Realising this idea proved complex, and they spent over 18 months developing the technology to make the process as seamless as possible. In March 2020, just as the world locked down and online use jumped ahead by two years, Print & Fit was perfectly poised to service the huge demand for thoughtful and personal gifts.
While Print & Fit remains the focus, David and Sarah continue to develop their collections, which now include elegant clocks, boxes and trays, as well as their signature fragrance range, with 2020 also seeing the launch of a stunning collection of scalloped trays and accessories.
Covid-19 gave Addison Ross the time to focus on its ecommerce platforms. With the generous support of RTC North it has added advanced digital features: customers can now upload thousands of photos, dropping them into any frame and zooming in on any image.
This year sees the launch of more dazzling designs, including acrylic collages to frame between 24 and 96 photos, new multi- aperture wall mounted frames, rounded scalloped trays and wastepaper bins in fabulous colours. Despite many changes over the years, Addison Ross remains primarily a family-owned brand, continuing to provide customers with original gifts of refinement, quality and elegant style.