Our Story

Our Story

Committed to exceptional materials and fine craftsmanship, the Bert & May name is synonymous with a raw yet refined aesthetic that underpins our entire collection.

Our story started in Spain in 2004, when Bert & May founder Lee Thornley left London to build his award-winning boutique hotel, Casa La Siesta, in Cadiz. As a result of his painstaking work on the interior of this sensitively restored country house, Lee found that he had a natural talent for sourcing reclaimed materials and rare antique fittings. He also discovered that this architectural salvage was much sought after by interior architects and designers and from here, a new project was born.

Timeline

Bert in Spain

Our story started in Spain in 2004, when Bert & May founder Lee Thornley was building a boutique hotel, Casa La Siesta in Andalusia. As a result of his work on the interior of the property, Lee finds that he has a natural talent for sourcing and using reclaimed materials. Inspired to share these special finds with a wider audience, he starts importing reclaimed tiles to the UK to sell. ​

Lee meets Juanma

What began as a small online venture takes on a new life in 2010 when Lee meets  Juanma, owner of a family business in Spain that had once specialised in making artisan encaustic tiles using traditional handmade techniques. The pair decide that the future of the company lies in making their own vintage-inspired designs, so the family factory reopens, and production begins.

Bert & May Launch

The business is rebranded and officially launched as Bert & May in September 2013, and quickly becomes known as a go-to specialist supplier of handmade artisan tiles.

First Showroom

Bert & May's first showroom opens on Vyner Street in East London. Situated in a canal-side warehouse, it houses the entire collection and becomes the site of regular events and pop-ups.

Lots Rd Opens

Our flagship showroom in Chelsea Design Quarter opens.

Bert & May x Soho House

Collaboration with Soho House, where we design bespoke tiles for three Soho House locations; Berlin, Redchurch Street and Dean Street.

York Showroom Opens

Our head office in York opens.