If a business is to be judged by the company it keeps, then one ambitious business is on course for a very bright future.
Gloucester based Designex Cabinets Ltd – which is part of the £10m strong East Manor Group – supply built to order glass display cabinets which have become so synonymous with quality that the company counts Sir James Dyson, Gordon Ramsay and Gareth Bale as customers.
The company was founded in the early 1990s and taken over by Tim Farr and Barry Newman in 2002. They ran the company for fourteen years, before it was bought by Jerry Webb in 2015 – who is Chairman of the East Manor Group, having previously been Managing Director of CDW Systems Ltd – a manufacturer of high-end aluminium windows and doors.
Jerry bought the company due to the products being made of aluminium and glass, material he had been involved with since 1987 – working for and running various businesses in the industry.
The East Manor Group is a holding company that comprises of some of the region’s fastest growing organisations and alongside Designex it also includes CDW Systems Ltd and Clearway Doors & Windows Ltd.
Designex is benefitting from the group’s resources and growth as well as the product’s unique characteristics.
Phill Tonks, who is Production Manager at the company, explained: “What is driving success of the product is that the owner designed and patented the unique corner post that we still use to this day and it gives the cabinets superior strength.
“The product also has a certain esteem, as its original owner focused solely on supplying display cabinets for antique dealers – which ensures the products have retained a certain charm and look that is distinctive.”
Phill says that alongside the glass cabinets, the company also manufacture and supply wall mounted cabinets, table top cabinets, slim line tower cabinets and storage cabinets.
Whilst antique centres and dealers remain a key sector for the business – Phill and Jerry have expanded the business significantly over the last couple of years, a move that has seen the business boost turnover by 65% compared to the previous year of trading.
Amongst the other key sectors Designex target are small to medium sizes companies, private collectors, jewellers, auctioneers, school, colleges, sports clubs, hotels, company boardrooms and reception areas, sports clubs, dentists, clinics and salons.
It is the private collector side of the business that has seen the growing demand from notable names purchasing Cabinets from Designex.
Chef, restaurateur and TV personality Gordon Ramsay, bought a cabinet to display books in one of his London restaurants; whereas Inventor and businessman James Dyson purchased cabinets to display large model yachts in his house.
And most recently Gareth Bale purchased a wall mounted cabinet to display the boots that he wore when he scored the overhead scissor kick during the Champions League Final 2018, when Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1.
His boots are on display next to a replica Champions League Trophy on the wall of Gareth’s ‘Elevens’ bar in Cardiff.
Believing that the product they offer is second to none, Phill says that he is predicting year on year growth for the business through developing new business in its current target sectors.
Phill concludes: “The future is bright for the business and the sky really is the limit because there are so many destinations for our product and we’re seeing demand grow significantly. There’s no doubt that Designex will become a significant contributor to the East Manor Group, which is growing fast and creating employment and opportunities across the South West.”