Keeping London impeccable – Jeeves of Belgravia celebrates half a century in business.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Jeeves of Belgravia. We want to take the opportunity to celebrate this important milestone. But most of all, we want to express our gratitude. We would not be here without the loyalty and trust of our customers. To mark the occasion and give you our thanks, we’d like to share our story with you.
Born in London’s swinging 60s
Sydney Jacob and David Sandeluss founded Jeeves of Belgravia in London in 1969. Their mission was to provide the capital’s well-dressed with the highest-quality dry cleaning and garment care services.
They opened their first shop at 8-10 Pont Street. Within easy reach of Belgravia, Kensington and Chelsea, the location proved perfect for style-conscious Londoners. Our Pont Street branch remains Jeeves’ global flagship base to this day.
Simple philosophies, enduring appeal
Sandeluss and Jacob founded Jeeves on a set of unerring principles. These have earned our customers’ trust and carried us into the present day.
Our philosophy is to deliver quality, consistent and exemplary services every single time. Everything we do, no matter how much time and effort it takes, is to the highest standard. We developed our seven points of garment care procedure to set this in stone.
“The only real and abiding pleasure in life is to give pleasure to other people.”
The inimitable Jeeves
Our values were inspired by Reginald Jeeves, P.G Wodehouse’s iconic literary character. Many of us know him best through Stephen Fry’s portrayal in the TV show ‘Jeeves and Wooster’. The ‘gentleman’s personal gentleman’ quietly keeps his employer on the straight and narrow. He never falters in his unwavering high standards and completes every task impeccably, but modestly.
Jeeves personified the qualities our founders wanted to instil in the business.
‘And good luck to it’
Sydney Jacob contacted P.G Wodehouse’s publisher A.P Watt & Son in 1966. He requested permission to use the character’s name. Confirmation came back in writing:
Dear Mr Jacob,
I am glad to say I have heard from Mr Wodehouse this morning that he is quite happy about your using the name ‘Jeeves’ as a trading name in your new business adventure. And good luck to it.
We proudly display the original letter at Pont Street. Literature fans may appreciate the signatory, Hilary Rubenstein. He was a prolific name in British publishing in the second half of the 20th century. Rubenstein represented authors such as Nadine Gordimer and Quentin Blake and the estates of Robert Graves, H. G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling and W. B. Yeats.
London’s best-kept style secret
Launching under the Jeeves name and delivering on our promises, the business quickly flourished. Over the coming decades, the most wonderful, unusual items crossed our threshold. Gowns for awards ceremonies, military uniforms, costumes for screen and stage and elaborate wedding dresses. We also became a preferred partner of London’s fashion houses. They rely on us to painstakingly clean couture after unveiling their seasonal collections on the catwalk.
Home textile care for antique rugs, carpets, vintage curtains and linen quickly followed as we responded to demand.
We also introduced handbag cleaning and restoration services to the Jeeves portfolio. Our specialists have meticulously rejuvenated pieces by Chanel, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Tumi and Louis Vuitton.
By royal appointment
A proud milestone in the Jeeves journey came in 1980. We were granted a Royal Warrant for HRH the Prince of Wales to deliver dry cleaning services, which we still hold today.
Jeeves around the world
The following years saw Jeeves of Belgravia expand internationally. From one store in London 1969, we now have 40 stores across 13 countries. The Jeeves team has grown from two people to over 400. Total sales have increased from $200,000 per annum to over $15 million today.
Tradition meets technology
At Jeeves, we believe tradition and innovation can and should co-exist. We achieve success by merging the learnings and values of the past with new ideas and technologies. At our London centre of excellence, you’re just as likely to find specialists hand-embroidering as you are to see cutting-edge machines pressing rows of shirts.
We are incredibly proud of our progress towards environmental sustainability. We use GreenEarth® technology in several of our locations. An innovative dry cleaning process, GreenEarth® is 100% non-toxic. It features liquid silicone, a safe and natural by-product of sand.
As a Royal Warrant holder, we are committed to keeping packaging to a minimum, reducing waste and using recyclable materials in our presentation. We aim to remove single-use plastic from our dry cleaning packaging. This is not easy to do, but it is important. We are also transitioning our London van fleet to electric vehicles.
Where next for Jeeves of Belgravia?
To mark our 50th anniversary, we recently redeveloped our flagship branch. We will update the rest of our branches over the coming months. We will also continue to connect with our partners around the globe. This will ensure we keep delivering the services you know and rely on, regardless of location.
Jeeves of Belgravia has come a long way since 1969. We would not be here without your trust and loyalty. The Jeeves family and I thank you for driving our success and we look forward to our next fifty years in business.
Will Lankston, Operations Director, Jeeves of Belgravia.