Company founder Wallace Bishop learns his trade in Birmingham. His outstanding craftsmanship earns him the Prince of Wales Medal from City and Guilds London for second place in the British Isles for goldsmith work (1897), and first class diploma awards from the Birmingham Trade Exhibition (1898).
May Lucy Slide marries Wallace Bishop in 1899. Mrs Bishop was a guilder and polisher and the couple worked for jewellers in Birmingham.
Wallace and May Bishop move to Australia in 1909 and Wallace is employed as a Diamond ring maker with Flavelle, Roberts and Sankey Jewellers of Queen Street, Brisbane. He bolsters the firm’s manufacturing division by encouraging his colleagues from Birmingham to migrate to Australia.
The Bishops start their own manufacturing factory in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane. They introduce many new facets to the trade, including vitreous enamelling of jeweller badges, items that were previously imported. Carl joins the family business as an apprentice jeweller.
Company expansion leads to the opening of a factory and retail store at 125 Adelaide Street.
Wallace Bishop Junior born in the same year as Carl Bishop introduces the Loyal watch: quality timepieces which Wallace Bishop still sells today.
The Wallace Bishop Arcade opens on the day World War II begins in 1939. This houses the administration of the flourishing business upstairs, manufacturing downstairs and a suite of glamorous shops.
Wallace Bishop publishes the first of a series of The Brides’ Book, a guide to wedding etiquette and procedure, at the time an innovative marketing initiative. The Australian Defence Department appoints Wallace Bishop as its official enamel badge maker.
Wallace Bishop Junior joins the family business and completes his watch making apprenticeship. Wallace opens the 1st regional store in Toowoomba and commences a period of further growth.
Always an inventor and problem solver, Wallace develops and manufactures state of the art work benches to assist employees with their focused and precise work. He imports and makes new machinery to improve utility and efficiency.
Wallace Bishop becomes CEO. For much of the 1970s and 1980s, he completes all valuations and Diamond buying himself.
Current CEO of the Wallace Bishop Group, Stuart Bishop joins the business. He completes a Diploma in the Study of Diamonds and Diamond Grading at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in 1989.
Stuart Bishop wins the prestigious 1997 De Beers Australian Diamond Facets Supreme Design Award for his design of a 5.35-carat Princess Cut Diamond set inverted in platinum.
After 75 years, the King George Square store closed and the last awning-mounted neon sign in Brisbane disappears. Wallace Bishop’s flagship store moves to the thriving Queen St Mall. Wallace has been instrumental in ensuring the success of the Mall through its establishment and continuing amenity. It is known internationally as one of the top ten most successful shopping Mall precincts.
Stuart Bishop commences as CEO after Wallace Bishop retires to the position of Chairman. Stuart continues to be a leader in the gem industry with his design and gem skills including leading sporting event trophies - and the current SWB 100 collection in stores today commemorating the family’s industry role in the past, present and future.
Jewellery chain Wallace Bishop celebrated its centenary celebrations in August 2017, with the business providing an example of the local industry’s resilience to the changing retail environment. The milestone event was marked at our flagship store in Brisbane’s Queen Street Central Mall on Thursday 10 August, where customers, staff, and the local community were invited to celebrate. Founded by the original Wallace Bishop in 1917, the family-owned and operated business is now managed by third, fourth and fifth generations, with great-grandson Stuart Bishop serving as CEO.
As a proud Australian family-run business, Wallace Bishop now has over 50 stores and 500 employees and will continue to embrace and carry forward the century of legacy and traditions.