Smith & Co was founded in 1921 by Herbert Smith and Claude Graham. After only a few years Herbert Smith decided to pursue other interests, leaving Claude Graham with sole ownership, until he passed it on to his son David.

Smith Woollens was one of the very few merchants at the time to have a warehouse, and offices in Golden Square, London, which made the company ideally placed to service the needs of its customers.

During the early 1930's the company began exporting to the Nordic countries, and a decade later following the war, the US became an important overseas market.