Hugh Thompson was born in Ireland in 1950. In 1974, after studying art and design in Belfast, he emigrated to Canada with his young family, initially arriving in Toronto where he headed up the art department at SunworthyWallcoverings, later moving on to Dominion Textiles in Montréal. In 1983, he began consulting for Cambridge Towel, where he joined the company as a partner in 1996, and became president of sales and marketing in 1998. Thompson has kept Cambridge Towel committed to local manufacturing and today, the proudly Canadian company is the single largest supplier of private-brand towel products to retailers and hotels in North America. Thompson is an accomplished landscape painter and currently divides his time between Cambridge Towel and his painting studio. For thirteen years, between 1987 and 1999, Thompson and his wife successfully operated the Landreth Gallery, a private art gallery in Cambridge, Ontario. In 1996, he established the Thompson Centre for Art and Design, a consultancy that purchases vintage textile and wallpaper patterns for inspiration in developing modern home décor for manufacturers and retailers.