As interior designers we both have the opportunity to work with some amazing brands on our projects, so we were really excited to interview Angela Paterson, the marketing director of Tektura wallcoverings as they are one of our favourite wallpaper suppliers! Tektura has been a huge support to us this year so we feel privileged to have worked with them on our first two Concept North events.
We delve into the history of the company, how they work and their exciting plans for next year!
We'd love to know more about history and people behind Tektura, could you tell us a bit more about the beginnings of the company?
We were founded in 1964 by a Scottish laird called Ranald Macdonald. As a result of his interest in travel and interior design, Tektura started life as suppliers of high end wallcoverings sourced from around the world, and by the early 80's our range consisted primarily of hand-made grasscloths from the Far East, Belgian and Irish linens, silks and Scottish woolstrands. But the textile industry struggled to keep pace with changing tastes (and budgets) so we found fabulous look-alikes in vinyl, (an industry that was just emerging) and started collaborating with the best manufacturers in the world at that time -, and we were amongst the first to bring these products to our clients. Our MD Alf Dimaria, and I have been with Tektura since the 80's and are proud to keep the flag flying.
How do you find and choose your wallpaper designers?
In relation to our bespoke/digital product, many designers come to us as they see what we do and are keen to collaborate. Others we stumble across on our travels and mos
t are not connected to interior design at all. We enjoy working with designers who have a story to tell and this is reflected in their work. For example Helen Strevens is a film set designer (The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are examples of films she's worked on); Dan Savage is an illustrator with a passion for art and its effect on wellbeing; Modern Love are from the world of high fashion. We look for designers and designs that make us smile. It's an eclectic mix and great fun.
It's such a competitive industry, so what would you say makes you stand out from the crowd as a supplier?
First and foremost it has to be our team. We're a loyal and longstanding team who really are passionate about what we do. This shines through in our product, our presentation and relationships with clients. Our dedication to keeping abreast of trends and developing good design without compromising on quality is equally important to us. Finally and by no means least we try to be a voice for everyone in the interiors industry and spend a lot of time reaching out to clients sharing news, trend blogs and projects through social media.
How do you keep on top of interior trends?
We're part of the Colour Hive global forecasting group and meet with professionals from all corners of the interiors industry twice a year. We research and discuss lifestyle and global events and how these drive and influence colour, pattern and texture. There's always a risk of introducing a design too early or one that's not quite the right shade of blue for example. So we have to be aware of trends, but also what our clients need ; these can be two different things. In addition we spend a lot of time researching upholstery, furniture and lighting which indicate changes in taste. Most importantly we must listen to what our clients are telling us - sometimes a handful of requests for a specific colour or pattern can herald a future mass demand, while existing looks evolve and grow (or fade away). So we strive to develop useable, relevant and versatile product but always with a nod to current and future trends.
As a company that is always looking to innovate, what are your plans and goals for 2019?
We work at least a year ahead in developing new product, so our plans for 2019 are already set! We're aiming to introduce about 40 new designs which we hope will capture the spirit of the times. A sneak peak : two of the themes we're working on are 'Futurist' and 'Inner Artist'. Behind the scenes we've also been developing some brand new products - and they're not wallcovering as we know it. Watch this space!
A big thank you to Angela for taking the time to chat with us!