Alison and Neil met in February 2008, Neil was working in Financial Risk Management and living in Glasgow and Alison was working as a fashion buyer in London after studying Textiles, Fashion Design and Management in Scotland.
A year of long-distance date nights and weekend adventures later they decided to live together in Glasgow. A rainy Scottish summer gave Alison time to work on a small collection of vintage inspired jewellery and accessories and so And Mary came to be.
Named after Andrew and Mary, Alison’s grandparents, with whom she spent many of her childhood weekends and holidays. Playing with antique trinkets and little ornaments around their country cottage or making and painting miniature houses from the off cuts of wood from her Papa’s workshop.
Among And Mary’s very first collection in 2009 was a sweet range of miniature vintage porcelain animals, similar to ones that Alison played with as a child. They were adored by their new independent stockists but became increasingly hard to find. So, for their second collection, Alison began designing their very own range of hand painted porcelain jewellery that quickly grew to include earrings, rings and cuff links in everything from pugs to pineapples.
It was so exciting to be able to create their own adorable tiny world of imaginary creatures, beautiful wild animals and insects and it was soon to become what And Mary was best known for. By 2011 they had added original and fun doorknobs to bring joy into the homes of their customers too.
Over ten years later and via the east and west coasts of Scotland and the south east of England, with their ever growing menagerie of porcelain creatures, Alison and Neil decided to try life in the South west of France. Where, along with their four naughty but cute Boston Terriers and two equally naughty and cute children, they are embracing the slower pace and more simple life with a croissant or two along the way.
It has been, at times, challenging but they feel extremely lucky to be living in the countryside surrounded by nature and wildlife where the inspiration for And Mary is endless.
However, Scotland, their family and their friends are always in their hearts and never far from their thoughts. It has been hard not being able to travel back and forth as originally planned over the past couple of years. Although, having bases in both Europe and the UK will hopefully work out well for them and their many lovely and loyal stockists and customers around the world.
Alison and Neil are very grateful for the privileged life they lead and continue to support many charities close to their hearts through the work of And Mary. As they look to what the future of And Mary may hold, they are working towards making the brand as sustainable, ethical and planet friendly as possible. No longer working with leather or animal products and trying to live a life with as little an impact on our beautiful plant as possible.