The Portmeirion Company was established in 1960 by Susan Williams-Ellis and Euan Cooper-Ellis. The company is based out of Stroke-on-Trent. The Ellis's originally bought the company A.E. Gray Ltd where Susan had worked and sent in her designs to be produced exclusively for the gift shop at the Portmeirion Village in North Whales, which was created and owned by her father, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in 1925. The Ellis's soon renamed the pottery company to Portmeirion.
In 1961, the Ellis's purchased a second pottery firm, called Kirkham's Ltd. Unlike Gray's which you could only decorate pottery, at Kirkham's they could manufacture pottery. This allowed Susan to design shapes rather than just surface patterns.
Susan first created a simple, tall, straight coffee set that was so popular that Portmeirion was struggling to keep up with the demand.
Susan's line, Totem, was launched in 1963. Totem was an embossed design of spirals and stars that were available in two colors: blue and olive. This earned Susan and Portmeirion the reputation for new and innovative design.
In the 1970's, Portmeirion was looking for something new, thus became Botanic Garden. Botanic Garden was a popular design and still is today, making up more than half of the company's turnover.
Portmeirion has an established reputation for high quality and innovative design and offers a range of high quality products including tableware, bakeware and giftware.
The North American plant is based in Connecticut and Portmeirion's main showroom in the US is in New York city. Portmeirion also has a showroom
in Toronto, Canada. Portmeirion employs over 500 people.
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