How I grow business – recession to pandemic 3 – Power of Stylist

Ryojo, Japanese calligraphy

In spring 2009 at a gymnastics competition at the school where my daughter went, I recognised Judith Wilson who came to lecture at KLC as an interiors author.  I found out she lived around the corner from me and her daughter was two years senior to mine at the same school as my daughter.  I invited her over for coffee.  It was extremely kind of her to guide me through the initial stage of my business.  She suggested approaching the top 100 interior designers named by House and Garden, for which she was writing, and designers registered in BIDA (now BIID). This made me focus on designers who would understand the quality of craftsmanship and my passion.  She even wrote a column about Biden Designs in The Resident magazine.  She also convinced me to believe in the power of stylised photos.  I needed to prove visually that Biden’s products work beautifully in Western interiors and have potential to create unique interiors.  Judith got me in touch with a stylist, Maxine Brady.  This was, in fact, a jumping board to the next stage of my business. 

Maxine and I shortlisted seven potential locations dotted around South West London offered by Shoot Factory.  On one August day in 2009, we whizzed around to view them all.  It was fascinating to snoop around beautiful houses most of which are decorated in stark white throughout, but they did not click with me.  The last stop was The French House in Parsons Green.  I immediately loved the quirky and overcrowded antique shop which had a different feel in each section.  A week later, I loaded a van with display samples and drove to Parsons Green after a dry-run in the middle of the night.  I had never driven such a large van myself.  Maxine arrived with an armful of props such as vases and lampshades which seemed completely arbitrary.  She, however, obviously had visions and worked quickly,  pulling things together out of thin air.  Our photographer, Adrian Briscoe took the most beautiful shots which are timeless and to this day I still cherish.  It was a game-changer.  I could see how my products can connect. 

Decorex 2008 Display
Decorex 2008 Display

Styled by Maxine Brady1

Styled by Maxine Brady 2
Styled by Maxine Brady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuniko Thompson

Kuniko Thompson

Founder of Biden Designs established in 2008. She is passionate about creating beautiful interiors working with designers, architects and Japanese craftsmen.

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