Derry man’s ‘Grand Designs’ success

Photo by Marie-Therese Hurson/Harrison Photography
Photo by Marie-Therese Hurson/Harrison Photography

A design business co-founded by a Derry man is turning heads in the world of interior design across England and Europe.

Paul Elliott founded Zespoke Design alongside his business partner Stephen Richmond and the pair set about manufacturing eye-catching, retro-inspired furniture tailored to suit the individual demands of each customer.

Despite the fact that the business only launched two years ago, already Zespoke Design have featured on hit TV shows like Grand Designs, the Alan Titchmarsh show, Sixty Minute Makeover Channel 4’s First Dates and Sport Relief.

The company have also more recently seen their designs form part of the studio set for Man United TV.

And with a cash boost from Invest NI recently, Derry man Paul Elliot says the company is focused on expanding its market significantly.

“In terms of a business timescale, it’s happened relatively quickly. Stephen and I both had other jobs but the sales just kept coming in for the products and we had to give our other jobs up.”

Paul, who concentrates on the sales and marketing end of the business and Stephen, who designs the bespoke pieces, operate their business from Cookstown which is a manufacturing hub for the materials and products which they use. Paul commutes every day from his home in Derry.

The long term plan is to expand even further afield, and into the U.S. where customers are already willing to pay expensive shipping costs to have Zespoke pieces in their homes.

The company have also taken on eight new staff. Invest NI offered £41,000 to Zespoke to support its investment in marketing and employment.

Mary Gormley, Invest NI’s Western Regional Manager, said: “Zespoke Design is a young, ambitious business which is achieving remarkable success in markets outside Northern Ireland in a relatively short period of time. Its investment to grow the business is now paying dividends and creating valuable employment opportunities in an area of disadvantage.”

Paul Elliott added: “Early on we set goals to expand our product portfolio, increase export sales, drive traffic to our e-commerce website and boost our workforce. Invest NI’s support enabled us to undertake these developments and the business is going from strength to strength as a result.”

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