Birmingham’s Lord Mayor, Cllr Michael Wilkes, and the Lady Mayoress toured one of the Jewellery Quarter’ hidden gems at the beginning of February, 325 year old metal working and embroidery business, Toye Kenning & Spencer.
Founded in 1685 and still family run, Toye Kenning & Spencer hosted the Lord Mayor as part of its campaign to draw attention to the importance of the Jewellery Quarter and the contribution it makes to the City.
“The Jewellery Quarter, unique to Birmingham, is important to the reputation and economy of the City,” explained Fiona Toye, chief executive of Toye Kenning & Spencer. “There are a number of businesses like ours, investing in skills and expanding our operations. We were delighted to enable the Lord Mayor to experience our operation first hand, get a sense of the heritage and a feel for how we are continually innovating and evolving the business.”
The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress were presented with gifts of silver and enamel cufflinks and two copper and enamel boxes that had been made in the factory.
Toye Kenning & Spencer, which is over 320 years old, was founded by a penniless Huguenot refugee. On arrival in the UK, he and his family resumed their trade of weaving, lace-making, embroidery and gold and silver wire making. Throughout three centuries of craftsmanship the company has grown and diversified but remains a family run business and its original values are unchanged – superb craft skills, quality and service.
Today Toye Kenning & Spencer’s creative designers inspire its craftsmen, who are experts in weaving, gold and silversmithing, enamelling and embroidery. It has a Royal Warrant and combines imaginative design, traditional skills and computer technology to produce a range of items to promote an organisation’s identity. As well as a range of State Insignia, the company creates a plethora of other civil and military identity products.
Toye Kenning & Spencer has two main manufacturing bases: Birmingham and Bedworth. Its headquarters are sited in London’s West End, along with the corporate showroom and retail outlet.