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About Us


Here's John Allan,
founder and Managing Director of Stone the Crows, probably looking the most adorable he has to date.

Let's kick things off with John completing one year at West Surrey Art & Design College and having five years of international banking under his belt. He then set off on an Italian adventure, visiting his very first two trade shows. Having spent a little time dabbling in the world of footwear, John felt much more drawn to the world of home decorations.

In February 1979, John ventured back to UK soil, doing the Blackpool gift fair with wonderful Italian contemporary giftware in tow, and well, didn’t take one order.

John spent time refining his craft and, after being a little more triumphant at the next few trade fairs, he met his now wife Philippa (more on this wonderful woman later), who shared John’s passion for product.

The two decided to join forces, invest in a little blue minivan and a lock-up garage, and set out to offer products that enabled everyone to furnish their homes with the individuality and style that they deserved.

Let’s have a moment for Philippa Allan. Former Chairman of The Giftware Association (GA) and the first ever female President of the British Jewellery Giftware and Finishing Federation in its 127 year history, Philippa was awarded an OBE in recognition of her services to business in the East Midlands and to international trade. Pretty impressive, huh?


With an eye for the extraordinary and a real love of things unique and handcrafted, John travelled to the far corners of the world finding treasures people could only dream of.

We’ve spent many years exhibiting at Spring and Autumn Fair, with John and Philippa taking an army of staff to pull off what can only be described as an actual military operation to fill one of the biggest stands with our treasures.

There’s nothing that quite makes John’s eyes light up like finding a product or material he really loves. He often goes away and tweaks, redesigns and refines something he’s seen to come up with a product that he’s really passionate about, and is entirely exclusive to Stone the Crows.

We are Family

Over the years, John’s eye for detail has not waivered, and he has passed on much of his wisdom to those around him who are keen to continue this legacy. Fast forward to today and Stone the Crows remains a family business, with that same passion and enthusiasm demonstrated across a whole team of staff. With the introduction of John’s nephew, Martin Tennant, in 2020, the team is full steam ahead and looking to grow, all while retaining that quirkiness that Stone the Crows is famous for.

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