British furniture designer and manufacturer, Style Matters, has built a firm reputation for itself within the hospitality sector, its portfolio fit to burst with prestigious venues, from Quaglino’s to Hotel Gotham. Hospitality Interiors’ Gemma Ralph caught up with Claire Fox, owner and ambassador at Style Matters, to find out more about her creative inspirations and aspirations ...
How did you forge a career in the industry, and what was it that first drew you to the design sector?
I have always had a desire to create and make things. I used to go out to bars and night clubs in my mid 20s and noticed that all the furniture was the same. I thought if I could enlighten some of the owners as to what they could really look to do to enhance their clubs and bars then they would give me a chance to design and build furniture for them. I managed to get a few breaks and that's how it all started really - the business has developed from there.
Who was inspirational to you early in your career, and why?
A desire to work hard has always been my mantra. Nothing has ever been handed to me and I have had to work hard for everything. I guess now as I get wiser I am staring to work smarter and in a more focussed way.
What inspires you, personally, in your work?
My competitive nature to succeed and deliver quality products to my clients, so they smile like I smile when we deliver their stuff.
What would you say are Style Matters’ defining philosophies?
Hand crafted and competitively priced British made furniture that is exacting in its quality.
How would you describe the design team at Style Matters?
We aim to follow the market and always be "on point”. We like to think we are always on the cusp of what the market wants and have the talent in our factory to deliver which is key.
Which hospitality project(s) are you most proud of to date?
Hotel Gotham, Quaglino’s Restaurant, M Bar, Titanic Hotel
How do you envisage the practice evolving over the next 10 years?
We are looking to establish a new showcase warehouse in Clerkenwell London as much of our business is generated there. We aim to establish a more complete range of products in the future and look to lead with our own designs. We hope to provide architects and designers with more of our thoughts and ideas of what is right for their clients.
We aim to grow significantly over the next three years and have doubled the size of our production facility in the last six months to cater for this growing business.