Forty years in the making. A life time on the Doll!
Our story to date ……….
Late 1980 Gill and Scott meet and on their first date plan to start a business together!
1981 Begin their first business called Artful Dodgers after finding a lucky pound note in a department store and then using it to buy a commercial pattern for a clown they happened upon.
The couple produce their first clown (called a Jester Clown) and this is still owned by them today and is now deemed priceless!
They then make and sell many others to family and friends.
1982 Begin trading at Jubilee Market Covent Garden and are sold out by lunch time! They both give up their jobs and rent their first premises in Ley Street, Ilford.
1983 launch their hand puppet Benji Bear, which turns into an unmitigated failure. Thankfully still producing and selling hundreds of clowns at Covent Garden.
1985 Ask artist friend Brian Shields to sculpt a clown head for a future project.
1986 Gill and Scott marry in Iceland (the first British couple ever to do so!)
1987 They purchase a 125 year lease on a stall at Covent Garden Jubilee Market. Still selling lots of Jesta Clowns with Scott bringing them to life and naming each and every one !
1988 Approached at Covent Garden by Harrods and commissioned to make the “Harrods clown”
1989 Jesta clown is eventually joined by Jolly Jesta, and over the time, tens of thousands are produced and find homes all around the world.
1993 Begin working on their idea for ceramic clowns using Brian’s sculpted head
1993 Hobo Designs limited incorporated
1994 limited edition Hobo clowns released at the International Spring Fair to much critical acclaim. Chris Jones takes over the running of the Covent Garden outlet.
1995 Produce first edition of Hobos collector’s magazine “Graffiti”
1997 Move into a purpose built workshop in Finchingfield Essex
1999 First website built (and wins critical acclaim from the DTI) First resin Art-doll is created.
2000 Build a studio onto their home and move in.
2004 Frog Morris appointed to revamp and further enhance Hobo’s online activities. Gill takes over all sculpting.
2004 Begin designing various products for other major gift companies
2005 Relocate their studio and home to Spain. Under licence, Xystos release mini replicas of some of Hobos original pieces.
2006 Chris Jones sadly dies after a brave fight with cancer.
2007 Decide to end all trade shows and to stop supplying retail outlets.
2008 Gill and Scott return from Spain and back to run Covent Garden. All original moulds for Hobo clowns are destroyed and final casts are taken.
2009 The very last ever Hobo clowns are produced and sold.
2010 Hobo launch their multi faceted project Mrs Dumpling.
Creating a story with a brand and a brand with a story.
2019 Peeps are introduced and make their debut at Covent Garden.
2021 With Frogs continued help, We revamp our web site and online offering.and that brings us right up to today and your visit with us.
Thank you for your interest in our past and we sincerely hope you will now be part of our continued and successful future….