Jon Watson

Jon Watson, Willoughby Picture FramerKelolo




Jon Watson left Knox Grammar in 1958 and started work as an audit clerk with David Fell and Co. (at father’s insistence … that happened in those days). Lasted less than 12 months and took off to pursue my dream. Joined BHP as a cadet officer in their marine department. My dream had started. Left the merchant marine 16 years later as Master of a large bulk carrier.

Somehow I became involved in picture framing and opened my first business in 1974 in Atchison Street, St Leonards. Argyle House Productions was born. This business grew quickly and in less than 2 years the business relocated to Artarmon and went from two staff to 15. With clients like David Jones, Qantas, advertising agencies, the Reserve Bank, Telecom and many other loyal supporters the company grew rapidly.

You could make good money if you worked hard and had the right staff. We were part of the Master Picture Framers Association which saw about 20 like-minded Sydney industry people develop a standard of excellence that everyone in this industry agreed to aspire to.

I sold the business, bought a 45-foot yacht and sailed the Pacific for two years. Best two years ever (put this on your list to do before you die). Sailed back to Sydney, got married, moved to Queensland and started another picture framing business in Maroochydore – Fairmont Picture Framing.

Sold that business and returned to Sydney in 1999 to join Legends Memorabilia as their production manager just in time for the Sydney Olympics. We used to buy our mouldings by the container load and always had problems with getting good staff. But we always got there and beat the deadlines. Good fun!

Ten years later retired at 67, got bored and started Willoughby Picture Framing six months later. Still here!