Our Story

Our Story

Discover the story of Bert & May; where we began, our passion for craftmanship and what our mission for the future is. We take you to Spain, where Casa La Siesta lies in the Andalucian hills, our tile workshop sits amongst olive groves and our curated colour palette began with reclaimed tiles at the heart. Our founder Lee Thornley tells our story...

Committed to exceptional materials and fine craftsmanship, the Bert & May name is synonymous with a raw yet refined aesthetic. Our tiles are created with longevity in mind
and colour at their core

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.


Bert in Spain

Our story started in Spain in 2008, 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 found that he had a natural talent for sourcing and using reclaimed materials. Inspired to share these special finds with a wider audience, he started 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 in curated colours.

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 Road Opens

Our flagship showroom in Chelsea's Design Quarter opens.

Bert & May x Soho House

The brand collaborates with Soho House to design bespoke tiles for three Soho House locations - Berlin, Redchurch Street and Dean Street.

York Showroom Opens

Our head office in York opens.

Bert & May x Little Greene

We joined forces with paint and wallpaper experts Little Greene and launched a collection of eight of Little Greene’s classic colours on our cement and glazed tiles.

Bristol Showroom Opens

We opened our showroom in the lovely Clifton, Bristol. Showcasing samples of our entire collection plus some one off antique items.

We launch Stateside!

A brand-new presence in New York City. We’ve partnered with Martin Kesselman, the New York City-based colour expert behind INCOLOUR.

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