Both being woodwind players, the 'Thomas' sisters, Alison (oboe) and Gill (clarinet), now Alison Cooper and Gill Horton, set up Wind Plus as a partnership in September 1989.
Alison had just gained her Diploma in Woodwind Musical Instrument Making and Repair, having finished a three year course at Newark Technical College, Nottinghamshire, as it was then called. She was keen to set up her own woodwind repair business.
Gill, at this time, had come to the end of maternity leave from NatWest bank, after the birth of her first son and was debating the next step in her working /family life. It was an opportune time, as Alison had become aware during her course the need for more options for the purchase of materials used in the repair trade. Alison's time would pretty much be taken up with repairs, but Gill was eager to join her and take on the sales of supplies. Wind Plus was formed and the business grew organically and steadily over the years.
At around the time of the birth of Alison's first child, in 2001, it was again time to reconsider work/life balance. At this stage, the two sides of the business could work independently. Alison continued repairing as a sole trader; as did Gill, with the materials sales, carrying on the Wind Plus name.
In 2002, Gill incorporated Wind Plus and Gill's husband, Lee Horton, became Company Secretary in the newly formed limited company. Lee had always supported both sides of the business in a big way and brought in his engineering expertise; his 'day job' being in engineering design, within the aero industry and power generation. In 2010, after nearly 30 years in this field, it was time for a change and Lee joined Wind Plus full time, as a co-director.
Wind Plus continues to grow and respond to the needs of repairers, and to woodwind and brass musicians in the care and maintenance of their instruments.
Alison continues repairing today in her very successful repair business.