Alan Lock and business partner John Mercer took out a loan of £15,000 in February 2020 to support the growth of Icarus Originals, a company founded on the premise of giving decommissioned aircraft a new life by turning them into bespoke, handmade jewellery and accessories – making memories out of icons.
Initially starting with military aircraft, the business has since created pieces from cultural icons including the fastest ever Concorde, the famous DeLorean car and even the Japanese Bullet Train.
The idea for Icarus Originals first came to the pair in 2018, upon realising they were each creating designs to celebrate the soon-to-be withdrawn Panavia Tornado by using its discarded aluminium to create a commemorative accessory.
Alan and John both have a military background. Alan started his career in the RAF, later becoming a Royal Navy Engineer. Upon losing much of his eyesight during his service, he was forced to retire and has been registered blind since 2002. John continues to serve in the RAF as an Engineer.
Alan, who works closely with Blind Veterans UK, is also a passionate advocate for accessibility to business funding and mentorship for blind and partially-sighted entrepreneurs in the UK. Icarus Originals also has long-term commitments to donate a portion of sales to relevant military charities.