“Let’s start a tile business – What could possibly go wrong!”
Based between London and Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucía, Maitland & Poate is a family-run business, grown from a love of old and original Spanish encaustic tiles.
How the Tile madness began
Our obsession and passion for tiles stems from the renovation of our Victorian terraced home in London. A learning curve of the naïve and optimistic – shortly thereafter converted into the exhausted and over-budgeted!
Still throughout the ups and downs we were determined to repurpose materials and reclaim as much as possible. Endless car trips ensued, dragging three under 6-year-olds around architectural yards (not for the faint-hearted). However, after many ‘Are we there yet’ buying trips, it was clear that finding authentic vintage tiles was a huge and challenging task. Nothing we found came close to the quality or designs we wanted – visions instilled from our Spanish travels.
The mystery, story of a previous life, amazing variety and depth of colours in Spanish tiles had just set the bar too high for us to match in the UK. So, decision made we would source our tiles from Spain. We did, and they were a huge hit, friends and family loved our vintage finds and were soon tasking us with sourcing for their projects too – And so the madness began!
Fiesta’s, Flamenco & Forgotten Floors
Funnily enough wandering around in the sunshine finding discovering, forgotten floors in crumbling farmhouses is far more fun than grey and muddy English reclamation yards.
Sadly, it wasn’t all sangria and sun-baked times as we had first hoped, the hard work had just begun. Sourcing exceptional and rare tiles with the finest colour pigments was only the tip of the Andalucía Adventure.
The real flamenco moves were needed next and I had no idea what was in store – restoring each one of those vintage tiles is dusty, dirty and tough going. As the pallets arrived so did the callouses and vague memories of spending time with friends and family.
Needless to say, those early days, weekends and nights were not the fiesta-filled times we had envisioned – but our love of saving these beautiful pieces of history and heritage simply kept us going back for more and more.
Teams, Trucks and Tiles Galore
We have met some amazing characters, more ‘tile crazy people’, craftsmen with incredible knowledge and expertise, and grown our team with fabulous dedicated people.
Our tile restorers enjoy being dusty, undertaking the messy tasks (clearly too much time in the sun!) with all restoration still being done by hand to the exacting standards we are known for. Our third-generation tile artisans create stunning new encaustic tiles just as their ancestors did, and our transport team can’t remember those 4-hour siestas or manana manana days as we keep them constantly busy.
The customer service team, marketing and creative bits still starts with us direct and is supported by clever tecchie and creative ‘wordy’ people who steer us down the right path and fan the flames of crazy ideas or pull us back to earth.
Our wonderful customers now include interior designers, specifiers and architects as well as private clients and we have expanded our collections to include new designs, recreating vintage inspired designs and bespoke stencil work. Who knows where the tile road will take us next but we are loving the journey and hope you will join in too!