How I grow business – recession to pandemic 9 – Sourcing for designers


Fine Ornamental Woodwork Panel Collection

My cashflow was tight.  I picked up some mid range interiors design jobs which had nothing to do with Biden’s product range in order to quickly inject some cash.  I welcomed commercial projects whose deadlines were set.  It was very fortunate that a number of Japanese and Asian restaurants were springing up in London.  One of them was Kyubi restaurant at The Arts Club on Dover Street in Mayfair.  When I visited a designer at Sagrada in Notting Hill, I brought a few pages of inspirational images based on his brief.  It was a good omen to find out that he and I picked up more than a few of the same pictures.  I very much enjoyed the project.  I even started helping him source items he wanted from Japan if I did not have them in my collection.  


Terrace at Kyubi with wooden panel canopy


It turned out to be a brilliant experience.  It was a great feeling that my sourcing activities for the project were not wasted since more than 90% of my sourcing trips for Biden normally do not materialise to become a collection.  It was nearly a 100% success rate!  The extra sourcing offered me fantastic opportunities to meet with a few new suppliers.  I fell in love with Kumiko, beautiful and airy wooden panels which are all handmade by skilled craftsmen near the Japanese Alps.  They are not fretwork but are made by a traditional 7th Century Japanese technique, assembling tiny pieces of wood without nails to create beautiful patterns.  Some panels were stained in walnut colour and decorated the restaurant’s covered terrace ceiling, casting geometrical shadows.  At Focus 2013, Fine Ornamental Wooden Panel collection, our best seller, was born. 


Canopy close up
Canopy close up







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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