Sixth generation joins AF Jones
Megan Jones has become the sixth generation of her family to work in the family stonemasonry company of AF Jones, run by her father, Angus Jones.
She has joined the company following the opening of a long-awaited new gallery at the company's main works at Ipsden, Oxfordshire.
The company was originally based in Reading and still has offices in its premises there, but production has moved to Ipsden.
The site address at Ipsden is, appropriately, the Old Quarry Works, but before AF Jones bought it it had been a fuel filling station and garage. It is next to the main road and a showroom was always part of the company's ambition. Megan has helped make it a reality.
With a background in fast moving consumer goods with snack company KP (famous for Hula Hoops and peanuts, among many other products), she has seen projects through from conception to presentation in stores. She says the experience has given her a lot of skills that are transferrable to the family business.
She grew up surrounded by the stone business and is familiar with it, but says her parents wanted her to gain experience away from that business to develop her own perspective. Hence, after studying for a business degree in Bath she joined KP and worked there for three years.
But when her family company wanted a new business manager to drive the company forward she felt she had the skills to contribute to its development and was given the job. "We are making products here that will outlast a human lifetime. We're creating legacies. That was a key factor why I wanted to work here," says Megan.
The showroom is about increasing the company's presence in interiors – and it has more plans to expand in that market. Megan says: "We have traditionally focused on architectural work but two-thirds of the stone market is interiors." She also wants to make sustainability a key focus of the business. "It was already part of the agenda here, but it's central now. It's important to our clients and they're our partners to success. They want sustainability and achieving net zero is important to us."
There will be more from Megan and Angus Jones about their plans for the family company in a future edition of Natural Stone Specialist magazine. Make sure you get your copy by subscribing here.