1991Introducing Oliver Tress CEO and founder of Oliver Bonas
Our story starts with our founder, Olly. His creative upbringing, culturally influenced by
the many countries he lived in, instilled a love of design and an exploratory spirit.
At university, whilst studying Anthropology, Olly would bring back gifts for friends from
his travels. An idea to build upon this passion for design began to take shape.

‘It turned into a very small business and I grew it slowly.
But I wanted to do something exciting and ambitious.’

1993Fulham RoadOliver Bonas opened its first store in Fulham Road in September 1993
with Olly Tress behind the counter on a second-hand till he bought for £60.

‘On the first Saturday, I distinctly remember the euphoria
of thinking, This is going to work’ Olly

‘I will never forget the feeling at the end of the very first day,
when customers had come in the store and actually bought something.
I still get the sleepless nights, and a real buzz, when we open
a new store today’ – Olly
1996OB mail order catalogue
OB’s first mail order catalogue was set up from the Battersea store
Early products
In the early days, before we began creating our own products, Olly would
source items individually and curate them into collections for the stores.

But we knew we could do better, and we wanted to develop our own style, inspired
by the alchemy of great design and fresh thinking and its power to uplift and inspire.
1999Tim Hollidge, co-ownerOlly’s university friend joined the business as Financial Director‘Just becoming a dad for the first time and going into business with a friend are two very good
reasons for not joining a small company. The welcome was unforgettable – my desk was
right outside the men’s toilet and I’m not even sure they knew I was coming!’

– Tim, now co-owner and Chief Operating Officer