Smithery is an Innovation studio, founded in 2011. We help companies Make Things People Want, rather than Make People Want Things. We do this by making things quickly with our clients their teams, and customers. We work on projects, products and services, teach people things, and share powerful stories of how to change.



John V Willshire set up Smithery to solve a problem that kept cropping up in his previous life as Chief Innovation Officer at PHD in London – a lot of organisations try to apply innovation in silos, rather than threading it through the whole business. Now working across Strategy, Prototyping, Design and Culture change, John is finally finding a lot of use for an eclectic background in economics, market research, music, marketing and media.

John also teaches on courses like Google Squared, speaks across the world in a nearly-too-fast Scottish accent, and acts as Strategy Principal at Gravity Road, helping offer unique strategic advice on key clients and projects.

“John is the single most creatively fertile person I have met in the last five years” – Adam Morgan, Eat Big Fish


Fraser Hamilton is interested in doing work with a purpose.  Having previously worked briefly with John during his placement year whilst at Loughborough University, he joined Smithery full time in 2014.  With a background in Industrial Design he tries his best to use his thinking as a designer and apply it to all manner of problems he comes up against.

“A designer pretending not be a designer” – Mark Priestley, Adaptive Lab


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