Ian left Liverpool in 1969 at the age of 19 to hitch-hike to India on his own, he did fencing jobs on farms and saved up £70 for his trip. The journey took him a month to complete.
Arriving in Delhi
When he arrived in Delhi the first thing he did was go to the Indian Coffee House and have some Chai, he then hitch-hiked to Nepal and went to the Monkey Temple - what he did for the remaining 5 months we’ve never really been told, he just says he ‘explored’, still living off the £70 he had earnt in Liverpool. He then hitch-hiked back home.
Returning to India
After 5 years he returned back to India, by this time, he had saved up enough money to get a bus across land from England to India - the bus took quite a while however and he didn’t think it would ever reach India. He decided to leave the bus and the people he was travelling with in Turkey, & hitch-hiked the rest of the way.
The Trek through Ladakh
He took a challenging route, and became one of the first Westerners to trek through Zanskar which is in a hidden valley through Ladakh and Kashmir, it had just been opened up and there were no maps available. He followed rivers and went across glaciers. It took him 15 days to walk 500 miles through the valley.
Falling for the culture
He arrived in India and decided to study the Tabla (indian drums) for two years, whilst living with an Indian family in Varanassi and getting more and more involved in the culture.
When he returned to England he brought with him a lot of Indian wares which he sold on markets on Portobello road and in Wales and Liverpool. He went back to India again and again until he had to open a shop, and another shop, and then another shop!
Jakki first met Ian in 1986 when she was 22 and he was 36 whilst she was working as an accountant for Laura Ashley in the same town as one of Ian’s shops. She saw him out on the market selling his wares and thought he was a very strange and mysterious hippy who wore the most amazing clothes.
In 1989 Jakki left her job in the town to set up her own textile recycling business called Scrap Scrap. Whilst exhibiting her range for the first time at a local craft centre, Ian and Jakki’s paths crossed once again, this was the first time they properly met and he told her that her business wouldn’t work.
However Ian liked Jakki & soon started to order products from her to sell in his shops. She ran Scrap Scrap for 5 years and in that time it became a very successful business, her collection was stocked in Liberty, Harrods, Barneys in New York, Lane & Crawford in Hong Kong and she had concessions in 8 Topshop stores, all whilst living in a house made out of pallets in her factory in Shropshire and employing 40+ machinists & artisans.
She continued to supply Ian with her goods for about 4 years after they first met. He used to place small orders and always took a long time so she dreaded him arriving on her tradeshow stand but he compensated for this by bringing the young 20 something Jakki, samosa’s and other little food parcels!
Five Years Later
Jakki closed Scrap Scrap in 1994 at the age of 30 because the grunge look was going over, she had ran out of ideas and felt the business had ran its course, she also was struggling to find waste velvet as had used up most of the UK's supply. 5 years of absolute madness, wildly exciting times and non-stop hard work was over.
On the road
Jakki and Ian were together by this time and a trip to India was on the cards, she soon became pregnant with Daisy, and when back from India, turned her attention to Ian’s business to try get some shape on things - with a newborn baby! They decided to try selling his dead stock at festivals and for 4 years the three of them spent most of their time on the road living in a tiny caravan.
Daisy's First Trip
Daisy first travelled to India and Nepal at 2 years old, and from the age of 6 started persuading her mum, Jakki to buy products she liked (over the years they ended up stocking some interesting fairy themed bedding and teddy bears). The business was a huge part of Daisy and India's lives, they lived and breathed it, and helped out as much as they could.
Moving to Devon with baby India
When not travelling, they lived in Mid Wales, central to the shops before moving to Devon in 1999 to be closer to Jakki’s mum and dad. By now they had their second child, India, & bought a farm to run the business from, leaving the retail shops in Wales. Jakki took over running the wholesale side of the business leaving Ian to run his two retail shops.
After 23 years of running Ian Snow, Jakki retired in March 2019 and handed the reins over to her oldest daughter, Daisy. Jakki had enjoyed the challenge of running the business, but it was time to get out of the office and start growing her own food and farm the farm.Read the full article 'Rags to Retirement' here
A Strong Team & The Re-opening of Scrap Scrap
Today, Ian Snow is managed by Daisy and the team of 8. It's a labour of love and a true team effort. With Meg managing all sales, Aimee in charge of purchasing, Rebecca in accounts, Tash dealing with all product set up and a huge amount of data, Steph, our amazing photographer and a passionate warehouse crew, Chris, Chris, Steve & Andy. Jakki still mends products and helps us a lot, but finally, she is living her dream of growing food and running her small scale farm.Find Out More About Us