Jamie Lovatt is the owner at WJL Contracts Limited. He has been with the company for 20+ years and we think he deserves the spotlight for this blog! Learn more about how WJL was formed, Jamie’s key takeaways from his extensive career in construction, and his ‘secrets to success’.


In the Beginning

Winston Joinery Ltd was established in Stoke on Trent in 1978 by Les Wagg. He was succeeded by his son Andrew in 1983 building a company with a reputation for high quality, traditional, bespoke joinery. Over the years the market demanded the ability to install much of the joinery we manufactured and in 2000, a supply and install service was introduced.

Jamie has been with first Winston Joinery and then WJL for 20+ years, starting out on site as a Project Manager when the company had only just entered the supply and fix market. He started WJL Contracts in 2009 with Andy Wagg and, following Andy’s retirement, Jamie and his management team redefined the business as a genuine bespoke joinery manufacturing contractor, committed to the highest levels of product and service quality. 

Before joining the construction industry, Jamie worked in the city recruiting front office and finance professionals in the investment banking sector – quite a change from his current position!


Key Skills

His aim when he brought the businesses under his own control was to bring the customer service levels he had become familiar with within the financial services sector into the construction world, which seemed completely alien in the beginning. WJL continues to provide a service with a smile as much as they possibly can!

“I was new to the construction industry and to joinery. I remember my approach to project management was simply to keep my eyes and ears open and generally speaking, my mouth closed whilst I learnt as much as I possibly could. Listening first and speaking second still stands me in good stead today.”


Career Ups and Downs

Becoming the Managing Director of the business 6 months before COVID struck was by far the greatest challenge to date for Jamie. It’s only since things ‘normalised’ that the management team have realised that every SME in the country went through the same experience.

Achieving commercial success whilst cultivating a culture of caring within the firm has been Jamie’s most rewarding part of his career. Like all SMEs, WJL faces some tricky challenges, the solutions to which are always found within the four walls of the business. The company has always pulled together when needed and it has resulted in a culture of caring and fighting for each other.


Secrets to Success

A key takeaway for Jamie has been to never believe that you know it all or that you’ve seen it all – there are fresh challenges every single day.

Jamie’s main secret to success has been his desire to keep learning. No matter who you are dealing with, you are presented with an opportunity to develop your understanding, on any subject. An open mind and a willingness to be flexible generally results in the optimal outcome and the answer can often come from the least likely of places.



Today, WJL are driven to deliver with the highest levels of customer service, integrity, professionalism and commitment to every project they undertake.  The company is continuing to grow, adapt and succeed – embracing the challenges of design and seeking to add value to this process with a proactive and positive approach.


To find out more about our services, browse our website and get in touch with a member of our team today.