Like many Victorian entrepreneurs, Alastair's beginnings are obscure. A Coram child, he was rescued by Ecgbehrt Whybrow, the inventor of the reusable cannonball, under whose tutelage he learned engineering, history, and to respect the unorthodox. Following the unsuccessful trial of the late Ecgbehrt's steamroller-proof suit, Alastair settled in Caledon Sound on his mentor's old hideaway, the carrack "Old Stumpy." He now resides in Caledon Southend as jeweller and unrepentant coffee addict.
His initial business ventures, the steam-powered penny-farthing and the solar-powered steam car, proved lacklustre in a world already bristling with steampunk inventors. Nothing daunted, he spotted a gap in the market by which he might indulge some of his private passions, namely fine jewellery and insanely tiny prims. Naming his business "Sparkle of Sound" after his home, he built a proud white clipper, the "Sparkle," from which to sell his early wares. After less than two months in business, the runaway success of his pearl range made it necessary for him to open a flagship outlet in salubrious Caledon Southend, where he receives orders from all stations and species of society.
Eschewing such vulgarities as bling scripts, Mr Whybrow favours traditional microprim craftsmanship to produce a natural discreet sparkle in his works, which is much more akin to that seen in RL than many of the loud glaring artifacts frequently offered for sale elsewhere in SL. This approach is largely responsible for drawing his clientele, and he is kept busy with private commissions. In December 2008, his specially-commissioned Elizabethan necklace, "The Gloriana," realised L$9,000 at an auction to help the Shakespearean sims. This launched the name of Whybrow on the jewellery-hungry world, and the "Garden of Love" tiara has since stamped him indelibly with a reputation for high-quality work of great intricacy, precision and staggeringly high primmage. Indeed, the "Garden of Love" tiara is ofttimes spoken of with hushed respect in such terms as "The Sim-Killer" or "Gravity sink."
In 2009, he was joined by an assistant in the form of a sharp-tongued shopgirl, to whom he reverently refers as "The Shopgirl." As a Coram child, he was pleased to give a chance to the workhouse's brightest star, and soon found that he had a priceless asset in a young lady keen to learn the trade, present the friendly female face which many ladies prefer to see in the shop, and otherwise relieve him of the burden of "appearing a great girl's blouse" by modelling his own jewellery for customers. Her other skills include filing her teeth and henpecking the jeweller mercilessly, both in front of customers and when alone. They may often be seen together after hours, touring Caledon on Mr Whybrow's "Dreadnought" motorbike, or the more sedate "Golden Grisset" cabriolet, with The Shopgirl at the wheel.
When not working on jewellery, Mr Whybrow prefers to live quietly and focus on his writing. In collaboration with his human typist, Alastair recently completed a full-length Victorian adventure novel, which is currently doing the rounds of the literary agents in RL. His other interests include music and musicology, Godawful puns, and clay-pigeon shooting from the foc's'le of Old Stumpy, using dance balls as targets.
Mr Whybrow also wishes it to be known that contrary to popular belief, Old Stumpy's name is not a crude pun, but is derived from the fact that it was necessary to saw two-thirds off the bowsprit in order to fit the ship into a 512 parcel. Furthermore, the much-publicised "Whipstaff" is part of Old Stumpy's steering gear, not an unwholesome private vice, of which Mr Whybrow has none - save coffee, Godawful puns and music etc etc etc. Sparkle of Sound is located at: