Category: Midlands Lifestyle
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Brooks England Saddles

It is not always appreciated that until the 1950s Brooks England was the largest manufacturer of saddles in the world. Around this time the West Midlands was producing at least 50% of UK bicycles through two leading businesses, Phillips Bicycles and Tube Investments.

The business had been founded long before then though, by John Boultbee Brooks in 1866 after he left his home in Hinckley at the age of 16 to make his fortune in Birmingham by making leather saddles for the horse trade. The company’s reputation is built on quality, authenticity and a heritage that is cherished by owners and customers alike.

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Samuel Heath

Introduction “From designing to machining, polishing, plating and assembly, we have complete control over the whole production process, so that we can oversee the quality of each product at every stage and remain faithful to our design principles,” says Managing Director, David Pick, on a recent visit to Samuel Heath in Birmingham. The business, founded […]

Smartphone Start-up: Zone V

Zone V is a start-up, conceived by founder, Abhi Naha – who has an inspiring vision to bring to market a reasonably priced smartphone, aimed at amplifying sight, sound and touch, for ageing consumers and those with impaired sight and hearing, whilst making it pleasurable and engaging. He intends to target developed markets first and developing markets later, where there […]

Hille - newly launched SE school chair Designed by Professor Richard Snell and David Rowe

Hille Chairs

“Our order book s have been very strong this year,” says Nigel Punshon, Sales Director, Hille. The company, based in South Wales, targeted £3.7m sales this year, but is already looking at finishing the year on about £4.2m. “Every year for the past six years we have made more sales and profits and taken on more people,” says Nigel. “This has been achieved on the back of a highly targeted new product launch each year. These, in turn, have partly been made possible through support from the Welsh government, in the form of match funded investment grants.

Matthew Humphries Design

Matthew Humphries studied Automotive Design at Coventry University commencing 2001. In 2004 he sent his portfolio to Charles Morgan at Morgan Motor Cars and was offered a work placement. He ended up working with Morgan for 8 years and amongst other things designing the Morgan Aeromax, the LIFECar, the Eva GT. The Plus 8 and the three wheeler – not to mention much of the marketing collateral accompanying these product launches.

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Struthers London

Rebecca and Craig Struthers were married in 2012 having studied together at the Birmingham School of Jewellery four years earlier. Rebecca gained a National Diploma in Jewellery from 2003-2005, ‘learning so much about making jewellery, the qualities of the metals and materials and the practical side of making, including traditional hand-making skills’.

Jack Row

Jack Row established his business designing and making luxury writing instruments and accessories in November 2011. It was whilst studying for his degree at the Birmingham School of Jewellery on their BA Jewellery and Silver smithing: Design for Industry programme that he got his first big break. He was taking this programme having completed the […]

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Monique Lee

Monique is taking a PhD in Art and Design at Birmingham City University which she started in 2010, specialising in Fashion, supervised by Professor Colin Gale. She teaches on the MA Fashion Design and Promotion courses and BA Textile Retail Management which have a very practical focus. Having taken her MA at London College of Fashion specialising in Fashion Design and Technology, later worked for several fashion brands and government research organisations in Taiwan and China, before moving to Birmingham where she has been living since 2010.

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Sara Page Design

Sara Page started her business, Sara Page Design, in 2012, having first studied a BA in Textile design and graduated with an MA in surface pattern design from Birmingham City University. Her inspiration was to come up with ‘Sara’s mark’ a brush stroke representing a painterly signature and instantly recognisable as hers. Whilst she was not planning to manufacture her products herself her plan was to produce a range by drawing on other manufacturers supplying her with the pieces she needed to expand her sales and develop her brand.

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Brintons Carpets

Brintons likes to remind its customers that their carpet business is only 6 years younger than the USA. Clearly, quite a lot can happen in 231 years. During that time Brintons Carpets has built up a global business and a globally significant design archive.

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