ASH HARGREAVES – LET THERE BE LIGHT!
Few things are more important than light in our world. Our clocks are governed by it, our moods are affected by it and physical spaces like homes or offices are massively influenced by it. So, when we began hatching our plan to open our brand new Coffee House on South Street, we knew that lighting was going to be a key building block of the space that we wanted to create.
With a quick turnaround needed and a desire to put ourselves into expert hands, it didn’t take much head-scratching before we picked up the phone to Amos Lighting + Home (of Marsh Barton and Topsham renown) to help us out.
We were introduced to their Lighting and Furniture Expert Ash Hargreaves who runs their Design Hub and were blown away by her speed, expertise and ability to change the mind of our CEO Dan who is notoriously strong-willed when it comes to interior design! Ash took us through a high-quality personal shopping experience, listening to our vision and then matching products and solutions from Amos’ vast range to our needs. It was one of those rare enjoyable buying experiences that only come around once in a while.
I met with Ash for coffee recently and she told me a little of her story, the Amos story and also what the future holds for the business.
Director David Amos started out in lighting at the age of seventeen when he swept floors for his father’s business in Bristol. He worked his way up through the business and eventually moved to Exeter about twenty years ago starting a lighting and furniture business on his own. They have been on Marsh Barton ever since and have carved out a reputation for excellence, quality and fantastic customer service. So much so that they launched a second store in Topsham nearly three years ago to deal more with the luxury retail side of their business.
Amos now have eighteen employees and a six-strong design team meaning that they can offer industry-leading residential and commercial solutions – fully tailored to the needs of each individual client. Such was the increase in this type of work that Ash took on their new Home Design Service recently – a personalised and focused approach to buying lighting solutions and customised furniture.
Ash told me,
“It all starts with a one hour consultation. As a result of that conversation, I then go away and produce marked plans, a visual ‘look book’ and a written lighting brief. These three things together make for a compelling and thorough presentation of the solution that we would recommend to that client. They are then invited back in for a product meeting and a walk-around the store to form a shopping list for the agreed solution. And every single part of that process is completely free. The only thing that remains is for them to make a purchase if they so desire.”
“Amos has changed the way that I think about lighting, even though I have worked in the industry before. They are so highly creative and client-focused. It is a pleasure to work for them and no one day is the same as the last. We are obsessed not just with the aesthetic or design of a lighting solution but how it interacts with the space that it sits within. So we take a much more holistic approach than most other lighting providers.”
For us at Grow, Ash’s advice was invaluable and she was instrumental in suggesting the five beautiful hand-blown Tala bulbs that hang above our new coffee bar. In fact, Amos Lighting & Home are one of very few places in the South West to stock and display the Tala bulbs. They are are not only a superb aesthetic feature in the Coffee House but run using low-wattage LEDs so are also environmentally friendly.
Much of Amos product range has locality and the environment in mind. For example they have just partnered with Teign Valley Glass on a range of new bespoke pendants and also with Stuart Lamble from Bude in North Devon who hand-makes a variety of beautiful pieces for Amos using sustainable wood.
Talking about the age-old toss-up between cost and value, Ash stated,
“Some people might think of Amos as being an expensive place to purchase lights. However, we cater for a variety of budgets – for example our pendant lights start from £29 and range into the thousands for more bespoke pieces.”
“Good lighting has such a transformational effect on a space and people don’t know what bad lighting is until they see good lighting! Also, people will happily go to a kitchen showroom and spend £30,000 on a kitchen but then have really shocking and cheap lighting put in to create the mood and atmosphere of their new space. There are three layers of lighting – table and floor lamps, wall lighting and ceiling lighting. As long as two layers are well lit, the third doesn’t necessarily have to be. For example two of the three can be providing the majority of light and atmosphere and the third can be more of a feature.”
And with hundreds of carefully selected suppliers and over one thousand products on display in the two stores, Amos really are perfectly placed to offer the same excellent service to others as they have to Grow. They are looking to grow and evolve the Design Service in the coming months and are introducing furniture to the service, using leading designers such as Content by Conran, Orla Kiely, Umage and PR Home.
Let me tell you, our bulbs are the single most popular design feature within our new Coffee House and regularly get a whole heap of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.
Why not see if Ash can add ‘the Amos factor’ to your space too.
To find out more, visit www.amoslighting.co.uk or pop into either their Marsh Barton or Topsham stores
All content by Joff Alexander-Frye