Interiors sector dominate National Business Award finalists…

13 March 2016

With over 140 finalists for this year's Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, one sector dominates all; the interiors industry. From furniture, to lighting companies, this booming industry is translated through the success of our finalists, and we take a look at their contribution towards exporting, new business and sustainability so far…


Lucia Victoria Interiors takes the international interiors market by storm…


Tracey Cooper has an obsessive passion for interior design and beautiful furniture. Together with her dedicated team at Lucia Victoria Interiors the business have become pioneers in the luxury interior design sector.


Having designed high-end residential homes, commercial properties and luxury hotels, the team at Lucia Victoria follow their design ethos to provide professional enthusiasm and innovation, to specifically meet the needs of each client.  


In 2013, Tracey expanded her business by recognising an opportunity in the retail interiors sector, and has since opened her first high-street store which sells a wide range of fabrics, wallpapers and paints, plus a unique service of hand-sewn curtains, blinds and co-ordinated soft furnishing. The success for Lucia Victoria Interiors continued as Tracey expanded her shop online, and found herself selling furniture worldwide within a month.


Tracey Cooper, Owner of Lucia Victoria Interiors said, “This is an amazing opportunity for Lucia Victoria Interiors to be shortlisted for The QBE New Exporter of the Year Awards. Exporting is about connecting our business to deliver customer care and service to clients overseas whether residential or commercial, whilst appreciating different cultures. As a finalist we are proud and very excited with this recognition to be able to grow our exporting contacts worldwide and also link our Interior Design services to gain future opportunities to unite our company with the world.”

Carousel Lights had no idea what one of their first lights would lead to…


Carousel Lights, finalist for the Lloyds Bank New Business of The Year, spent months designing one of their first lights. The founders, Ben and Rebecca, both had a love of travelling fairs and faded seaside resorts, and wanted to create a feature light based on their favourite fairground ride – the Waltzer – but there was a stumbling block.


The original Waltzer ride, produced by Lakins for the showman Charles Thurston, debuted during the deco era in 1933. Carousel Lights therefore decided to create a stunning heart with art deco style wings and a mirrored base as a nod to the chromes used in the period with the original red swirl-topped fairground lights mimicking the rotating cars.


The singer, Sophie Ellis-Bextor saw a photograph of the light and commissioned Carousel Lights to produce a light for her home. The producers of “Made In Chelsea” also took a shine to it and used it as a backdrop to one of their episodes. The light still proudly hangs in ‘Ben's Canteen' in Battersea.


Ben Reynolds, Founder & Director of Carousel Lights said ,“Setting up a company is tough, very touch in fact, so to be shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank New Business of the Year is fantastic recognition not just for Carousel Lights but for our brilliant customers too."


Carousel lights has now grown to be a well-known brand with hundreds of clients including Harvey Nichols, BBC and The Royal Academy of Arts, but the Waltzer Heart remains one of their most talked-about lights.

JPA Furniture go Sustainable…


A family business, now well into second generation succession has demonstrated a working sustainable system for its office and educational furniture, called DODO.


The sustainable programme is a range of life prolonging services for Clients' existing furniture from repairs, re-upholstery, remanufacture, reconfiguration and end of life recycling and re-homing. Its aim is to prevent furniture from becoming EXTINCT and has enabled JPA Furniture to become zero landfill, develop a negative carbon footprint and develop meaningful community relationship across all sectors.


The services which extend the life of Clients' existing furniture, maximise existing resources and reduce buy newcost, whilst at the other end of the scale furniture recycling (diverting away from landfill) can vastly improve a Clients' environmental and financial performance.


Over the last 12 months, JPA Furniture's DODO programme has rehomed over 1700 items of furniture, involving over 90 local organisations, saving them the equivalent of £120k, freeing valuable funds to be spent on other much needed resources.  Additionally, the business has recycled over 2500 items and repaired over 1000 items bringing their landfill diversion rate to over 5000, with measurable savings of over 140 tonnes of furniture waste and equivalent carbon emissions.


DODO has also opened up new markets and demonstrates that a small company can make a difference locally by thinking differently and acting sustainably. Graham Pulsford, Managing Director of JPA Furniture said,  “JPA Furniture are delighted to have been nominated for this award for our sustainability achievements but there is as always, a long way to go!”

Shoplight take the spotlight…  


Mark Shortland started his career in the retail lighting sector and worked for some of the largest multi-national manufacturers. Mark soon recognised that there was an opportunity for a specialist provider of lighting solutions to the retail sector, who could deliver the needs of retailers store development and design departments, and in 2014 Mark founded Shoplight, a service which did exactly this…


He based the business on 3 principles;

  • To deliver innovative lighting solutions using the very latest LED products
  • To offer exceptional customer service
  • To deliver these two principles to the market at competitive prices

Mark Shortland, Managing Director of Shoplight said, “Our clients benefit from our detailed approach to service.  This includes every element of our offer from lighting design services (where we offer a unique ‘Design Guarantee'), our ‘one product-one box' approach to packaging, tool-less installation of our recessed products, clear 5-year parts and labour warranty and our focusing service.  We believe these services, along with our innovative products have allowed us to continue to grow our client base.”


Shoplight clients include; Moss Bros, Mountain Warehouse, Skechers, Thorntons, Jones Bootmaker, EAT, POD, Starbucks, Barburrito, T2, Lakeland, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Phase Eight, Charles Tyrwhitt and Crew Clothing.


Recent product innovations include Smart Mirror, which allows customers to change the warmth and intensity of the light within a fitting room and Dynamic Shop Window, which allows a display window to engage with customers prior to them entering the store.


Mark Shortland continues; “At Shoplight we are totally committed to providing the best possible service to our clients and so we are absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted in the Lloyds Bank New Business Of The Year.  We are looking forward to the final ceremony and to seeing if we are the winners in this category but nonetheless, this nomination will give all of us at Shoplight a sense of pride to know that our business has been recognized in such a way”.