About Us

Company History

6th JULY 1987 / Apprenticeship

Having left King Edward VI school aged 16, Simon started at The Dartington Trust owned Staverton Joinery in July 1987. He began his apprenticeship in French Polishing there in 1988. During the three years of his apprenticeship he attended South Devon College to gain Craft and Advanced Craft in painting and decorating, passing with triple distinctions. He completed his apprenticeship in 1991. During the summer months of 1991 he worked for South Hams District Council as a gardener at Follaton House Gardens. In September he attended the first full-time traditional signwriting course at South Devon College and went on to a second year to achieve another set of triple distinctions.

5th NOVEMBER 1991 / Garden Shed

While attending his City & Guilds course at South Devon College, Simon set up a very small workshop in his parent’s garden shed to restore furniture for local small businesses and provide a polishing service for local bespoke cabinet makers.

7th MARCH 1994 / First Workshop

Simon opened the doors on the first Gilboy’s workshop at the Riverside in Staverton with financial and mentoring help from The Prince’s Trust.

Princes Trust

4th MAY 1998 / Employee No.1

Head restorer WillWill Arscott joins the business as an apprentice restorer, goes on to become our head restorer and stays for 20 years.

1st JANUARY 2001 / Workshop No.2

Riverford workshop

Having outgrown the small workshop at Riverside, Simon seized the opportunity to move to larger premises based at Riverford Farm. The new workshops offered much more space, a dedicated office and the potential to create an antiques showroom in the barn next door.

inside the Riverford workshop

19th JUNE 2002 / Incorporated at companies house as Gilboy’s Limited.

4th MAY 2015 / New Workshop

Work was completed on 11th July. The new custom-designed building has a bigger workshop, office, dedicated spray-room, a showroom with a mezzanine level and is all completely solar-powered. For Simon the biggest benefit is being located directly beside the South Devon Steam Railway – as you may have noticed from frequent appearances of the steam trains in the ‘How To’ videos on our YouTube channel.

Gilboy's new workshops

The pictures below chart the renovation of the building:

 outside workshops before renovation

mezzanine floor going in

workshop interior construction

brand new workshop


6th JULY 2015 / Development of our own beeswax polish starts

23rd NOVEMBER 2015 / Archie Joins

Archie joined the business and started his restoration apprenticeship the following January. 

The Gilboy's show team
The Gilboy's Exhibition Team

4th JANUARY 2016 / Gilboy’s Gold goes on sale

pure gold beeswax polish

30th JUNE 2016 / R&D given the green light

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs recognised our beeswax furniture polish as a unique product and awarded us with tax relief for continued Research and Development over a three year period.

12th SEPTEMBER 2017 / Invitation from Tesla


It was a great honour to be asked to demonstrate how our attention to ‘the little things’ has driven our success by one of the most exciting brands in the world today. We must be doing something right!

Read Simon’s blog about the whole experience.

15th NOVEMBER 2017 / Polishing Kits Introduced

To make it easier for customers to buy everything they need to professionally polish their furniture we introduced our polishing kits. Our kits contain the same ‘0000’ grade wire wool we use to apply our beeswax polish to furniture, the same cotton buffing cloth and a block of pure beeswax that we use to repair scratches and dinks before polishing.

1st OCTOBER 2018 / Amazon Prime

Amazon’s Choice is a popular feature on the marketplace. Sellers are keen to get this badge and hopefully make improved sales. It’s basically Amazon’s recommendation of what to buy. It is especially related to Prime items as it was first designed as a service for Alexa to help shoppers easily find the best items to buy. It launched in 2015 to promote highly rated, well-priced products ready to ship immediately for the most popular searches on Amazon.

Amazon's choice on Prime

23rd OCTOBER 2018 / Rural Business Award 

Rural Business Awards winner

Gilboy’s wins Best Rural Manufacturing Business 2018/19 at the Rural Business Awards (South West).


The story continues...