Daniele Bull arrived in the UK in the early 60’s, 20 years old, and a newlywed. Her husband, Joel, was selling fabric in market stalls across East Anglia and London.
Daniele in one of her favourite prints in the early 90's Joel & Son Fabrics store
The newlyweds worked tirelessly to develop a successful retail fabric business.
Mrs Bull notes, "the only time in all those years that we ever packed up early was when there was a terrible blizzard and the market was totally deserted".
An early Joel & Son Fabrics market stall
Their drive and ambition led them to open the first Joel & Son Fabrics store in Church Street, just off the Edgware Road in London in an old butchers shop opposite where Joel and Daniele's market stall once stood.
The first Joel & Son Fabrics store
Without having a budget for fancy shop fittings, Joel and Daniele, with the help of their three children, Gary, Theresa and Marisa stacked fabrics high on wooden fruit boxes for display. All the store fittings they needed to transform the compact, old butchers store into a fabric store came from an auction house.
An early shot of the Joel & Son Fabrics store
Joel and Daniele expanded the business from the original single unit on Church Street into the adjacent stores until they occupied the eight stores that is the emporium that stands today.
Daniele modelling in Vogue for a pattern collection stocked at Joel & Son Fabrics in the 80's
Daniele and Joel's son Gary (far left), Davey & Dino who have all grown up in the business
Over time, Joel & Son's reputation flourished and they became the leading supplier of fine fabrics from around the world.
Daniele and Joel meet Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at the Coronation Festival in 2013 at Buckingham Palace
Daniele and Joel have catered for an esteemed, international clientele, which include Royalty from all corners of the world.
Daniele rolling up an Embroidered Rose Denim in 2019
Daniele can still remember the moment Joel was informed that the business was being awarded the Royal Warrant from HM Queen Elizabeth II recalling that "it was the greatest highlight in all the years of hard work".
Daniele standing proudly beside the Royal Warrant that is on display at the entrance of the Joel & Son Fabrics store
Today Joel & Son Fabrics is a treasure trove of fabrics, sourced from the best mills in Europe and described by many as an “Aladdin’s Cave”.
Daniele with our Couture Yellow Seashells Embroidered Georgette
Even though Mr & Mrs Bull have officially retired, Daniele still keeps a firm watch on fashion and the textile trends passing through the doors of Joel & Son Fabrics.
Daniele displaying our Monochrome & Red Floral Printed Silk Crêpe
Daniele loves silks in particular - "there is nothing like silk for evening-wear". She also has a penchant for cottons in striking prints.
Daniele in front of our beautiful Ratti Ivory Floral Printed Black Microfibre
Shop 'Daniele's Edit' here - a selection of her favourites from our store.
Photo credits: Rosalind Hobley