Nov 16, 2023
Cheshire and Wain is born!
- Cheshire & Wain welcome Percy, our Cat Executive Officer (CEO) and muse, with a dramatic entrance. Son of ‘Grand Imperial Champion Shimmarclaw Moontyger’ and ‘Bonnie Sheer Indulgence’. He insisted on a red carpet, but it was promptly shredded, much to the dismay of the cleaning staff.
- Unimpressed by the standard, often unsafe collars available at the time, Percy demands a bespoke creation. After months of intense negotiations (read: adorable meowing), the first line of luxury leather collars is born. Percy approves!
- Percy organises the company’s first collaboration with Made By Swimmer, overseeing the launch of our embroidered catnip toys - making playtime as stylish as it is fun.
Colours and characters
- C&W becomes a Prince’s Trust supported business by earning a space on their Young Enterprise Programme, marking a significant milestone in our early journey.
- Percy introduces the Color-Pop collection - our classic range made from vibrant Italian leather that cats (and their pawrents) love.
- Naming collars after some of C&W’s furry patrons and Percy’s acquaintances – Rigby, Chester, Ivor, and Mango – becomes a hallmark of the brand.
- Percy has the brilliant idea of making a caviar-inspired cat collar packaged in a novelty tin. The five-star, super luxe Beluga Caviar collar is born. Percy suggests using the tin to store catnip; such kitty genius!
- Percy collaborates with ceramicist Rachel Dormor on a complementary hand-thrown cat bowl with Caviar tin illustration.
Expansion and Recognition
- C&W hit the shelves of Fenwicks, adding a touch of feline elegance to the 'Brilliantly British' department store. We also go international with a new stockist in France - Hariet et Rosie in Nantes.
- C&W hosts a pop-up at the Prince’s Trust ‘Tomorrow’s Store’ near Liverpool Street, London, marking our foray into immersive retail experiences.
- C&W receives its first feature in Elle Decoration as one of the best online pet shops. Percy demands a higher wage due to the extra exposure and recognition.
- Percy is featured by the iconic Cats of Instagram - with the very picture that inspired our logo, Percy as a gorgeous kitten.
Rumours swirl about a mysterious catnip heist. Percy is the prime suspect but has a watertight alibi of his clockwork naptime. The stolen goods are mysteriously replaced with a small quantity missing. No one speaks of it again.
Personalised pet prowess!
- Percy muses about a Wonderland-themed collar collection featuring iconic characters from his favourite tales. The Cheshire Cat collar, of course, is his favourite. He spends days perfecting his mysterious disappearing acts, only to reappear with a rather wide grin.
- C&W pops up at the Prince’s Trust Tomorrow’s Store for the second time and showcases the Wonderland collection on a series of waving cats (Maneki Nekos) painted to look like grinning Cheshire Cats. What was meant for display-only, sell like hotcakes! The pop-up is featured in Time Out magazine.
- Percy launches a collar personalisation service, allowing pet owners to add a unique touch to their feline companion's accessories. A service which makes our collars extra special to this day.
- Percy collaborates with brilliant artist, Annabel Pearl on a series of cat breed prints with gold embellishments. C&W launch a bespoke cat portrait service so cat owners can immortalise their feline friends in an original artwork by Annabel.
- C&W begins a collaboration with one of the most famous cats in the world (and their daily musings), Choupette’s Diary, bridging the gap between high style and feline charm - Because every walk is a catwalk.
- Percy enters into correspondence with Lord Palmerston, Chief Mouser at the Foreign Office. The two discuss hospitality, hunting, and their favourite supper.
- Cheshire & Wain makes its mark at The Conran shop, aligning the brand with upscale retail spaces. They love The Beluga Collar but want five more colours. Caspian Gold, Royal Blue, Keta Orange, Tsar Burgundy and Persian Yellow are born.
- C&W's first photoshoot with legendary pet photographer Rachel Oates launches the Ice Cream collar collection - a range of pretty pastel collars made from Italian leather.
- Percy launches the Caviar collection, joining The Beluga Collar, which is named after his favourite naughty treat. Rachel Oates captures his decadence on camera. Conran showcases six of the new collars and also stocks a collection of embroidered toys.
Family and Heritage
- Penelope Agatha Wells, niece to Percy, joins the company as the Cat Marketing Officer (CMO). She receives an honorary grooming from Percy, which has the office awwing in chorus.
- Penelope introduces her first collection, Muted Heritage, blending traditional leatherwork with a contemporary aesthetic. Percy pretends not to like it, wishing it had been his idea.
- C&W hosts a winter pop-up shop on Hackney Road in East London, collaborating with doggy lifestyle brand Fetch & Follow (now Kintails).
Prestigious placement and resilience
- Cheshire & Wain products appear on the shelves of Selfridges and Harrods – a true honour for our dedication to luxury for cats.
- The global pandemic shuts physical stores, but C&W powers through with online sales to keep cats and their people happy whilst in isolation.
- The C&W online store closes for a month while we deal with the unprecedented increase in demand caused by the lockdown. Percy launches our fancy new website.
- Percy pays homage to his favourite artist Louis Wain and our other brand muse with a series of colourful, museum-quality art prints
- After 3 years of research, product development and testing, we launch our new signature breakaway safety catch - designed in-house and made in England. This clip is now used on all our collars.
- We relocate to a beautiful office and studio in Hackney, East London and move collar production in-house.
Penelope suggests a team-building activity, Kitty Karaoke. Percy, not to be outdone, insists on a clash of the kitty titans. The office echoes with meows and melodious chaos as the two engage in a vocal battle of The Cure’s Lovecats. The loser? The office soundproofing.
Artistic Ventures and Trademarks
- Percy sweet-talks some lawyers, and Cheshire & Wain becomes a registered trademark.
- In anticipation of the upcoming big-screen biopic, The Electric Life of Louis Wain, C&W pays homage to the iconic artist and our namesake with a Louis Wain collar collection; showing how the brand likes to stay one paw ahead of the curve at all times.
- Percy and Penelope create a viral cat-vertising campaign, featuring the adorable duo wearing the latest collars and striking regal poses in a series of GIF stickers. The internet explodes (the sticker collection now has 20.6 million views).
- After almost a year of user testing by the meticulous Penelope, Cat Cloud is launched, a bed for the softest, snuggliest, and cosiest catnaps.
- Not to be outdone, Percy launches the Lumino Lux collection, retro-reflective collars for adventurous outdoor kitties that still crave glamour on their nighttime perambulations.
- C&W launches cat-themed Christmas card in collaboration with Annabel `Pearl and Yes! Paper Goods.
Cinematic celebrations and innovations
- C&W aligns with Studiocanal to promote the film, The Electric Life of Louis Wain, celebrating the legendary artist's life with Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy.
- C&W hosts a series of interviews with renowned cat actor Felix and animal trainer Charlotte Wilde.
- Cheshire & Wain welcomes new physical stockist, iconic luxury department store Fortnum & Mason. Penelope insists on visiting for high tea.
- Percy and Penelope partner with furniture design studio, Lozi for the Lozi x Cheshire & Wain Round Haus launch.
- Penelope launches the Chief Mouser Training Kit, offering a playful and interactive experience for fledgling hunters.
- Percy manages the launch of our fanciest range yet - the Rococo collection that blends sophistication with playfulness. Penelope unleashes her inner Marie Antoinette, dons a wig and mewls, “Let them Eat Catnip!
- After 10 months of extensive research and development and no less than 25 purr-fecting samples - C&W releases a range of super-lightweight reflective AirTag cases - helping cat owners follow their kitty’s midnight adventures.
Artistry and recognition
- C&W collaborates with ceramicist and artist Kate Welton on a koi carp water bowl and hand-painted food dishes - bringing a clean and creative style to the world of cat crockery.
- C&W is announced as the best British Feline Lifestyle brand 2023 in the Lux Life Pet Products and Services awards.
- In summer 2023 Cheshire & Wain relocates to Dorset, establishing our new headquarters in Bridport on the scenic south coast of England. Penelope demands crystal chandeliers and velvet curtains. The staff reluctantly agree, realising that any argument is like herding cats.