Our business support clients: where are they now?
Everyone loves a success story and the Design Council’s business support team has plenty to choose from. Just in time for the new business year, we caught up with three of our past clients to find out what they’re up to.
Launched by former hairdresser Shaun Pulfrey, the Tangle Teezer detangling hairbrush incorporated a unique design to enable snag free brushing. Shaun contacted the Design Council in 2009 for help with the design and unveiling of two new hairbrushes for his range.
Tangle Teezer is stocked in over 600 branches of Boots throughout the UK and is also the proud recipient of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
Further success has come overseas with the product successfully reaching markets in China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. These markets now account for £20m of their sales – the team tell us that every time Tangle Teezer appears on the home shopping channel in Taiwan they sell an amazing 20,000 brushes an hour.
While studying an MA in product design Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, Founder of Sugru, realised she didn’t want to keep on buying new things but wanted to improve the items she already owned. In 2007 she developed a basic silicone formula and in 2009 contacted the Design Council for help with branding and communications for the product.
Sugru ships to over 40 countries and has something of a cult following online – the product has even made it as far as the North Pole attached to one intrepid explorer's trekking poles.
Sugru has received a number of impressive accolades. In 2010 TIME Magazine listed it at number 22 of the top 50 inventions of the year – and in 2012, Founder Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh won the London Design Festival Design Entrepreneur Award. The company now boasts 15 full time employees and continues to expand at an impressive rate.
Orluna, the LED lighting specialists, were serious about growing their business – they knew they wanted to expand and recognised the need for expert help in achieving their goals. After getting in touch with the Design Council in 2011 they embarked on a project to improve their market position and branding.
With a beautiful new website and greater brand clarity Orluna have successfully positioned themselves at the higher end of the market, and their profits reflect this. With a 65% compound annual growth rate and now exporting to over 40 countries, Orluna are confident they can continue to expand.
Managing Director, Andy Kilborn told us “We estimate a 30% increase in sales as a result of working with the Design Council. It’s like a wind behind us for the next 3 years and our small company looks much bigger and more professional”.
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