Big Interview with light&lamps’ Niki Wright

Niki Wright, Co-founder of lights&lamps, talks about future expansion plans and why pop-up shops should be utilised more.

Niki Wright

Let’s start with you. Can you share a bit about yourself?

I’m a self-taught product designer having learned my craft from first-hand experience in the production of domestic lighting. I got into lighting from a fairly young age, working with various UK retailers whilst designing and developing literally hundreds of new products every year. I carried this on within my own business which is when Scarlett and I met and since then we decided to create our own brand designing exactly what we wanted without any real restraint.

What is your current job role and key responsibilities?

I wear several hats within my working life. I manage a factory business, a supplier business and now our own online retailer.

What do you love about your job?

Having the freedom to design and develop product that we originate for ourselves, wrapping it all up within an aesthetic of our own making.

What time is your alarm clock set for?

I don’t have an alarm clock. As long as I get everything done that I need to, without keeping anyone waiting, I’m happy.

Why did you choose to work in the furnishing industry?

I fell into lighting really. More of a career progression than an exact choice, but similar to many other people I know and who I have worked with, once you get into lighting you find it to be a very enjoyable industry to be in. Its full of all sorts of design technicalities and progressions, constantly changing and developing and it means working with an extremely diverse and creative product.

Who do you most admire in the industry?

There are plenty of brands and designers I admire for all sorts of different reasons, but to be honest I tend not to focus on what anyone else is doing. It’s better to concentrate on our path and our goals and not be too influenced by anyone thing or person.

Have there been any special moments during your career?

Lots. Too many to list, but plenty of things I have thoroughly enjoyed, be that momentarily, or over the longer term and plenty of successes I am extremely proud of.

What is your favourite item of furniture you own and why?

I have a dark green leather Karuselli lounge chair by Yrjö Kukkapuro. Despite its obvious connection to the 1960’s it is in many ways a timeless piece that fits almost any interior style. On top of that it is one of the most comfortable chairs you will find which is absolute credit to the intelligent ergonomic design.

What do you think is trending?

Like clothing fashion at the moment, it seems anything goes! I think there’s an argument for many different trends and colours and materials but ultimately, I think our customers like to see good quality, considered design that will last the test of time and trend – and if we can wrap that up in an affordable package then all the better.

What would you change in the industry?

I don’t think I’d change too much, but I’d love to see more of certain things like pop-up shops for example. Online shopping is an extremely rewarding platform for businesses like ours, especially in aiding growth and expansion outside of the UK, but I still hold dear the real-life experience of seeing product first hand and making your own decisions then and there. Our product is often said to be “even better in real life”, so we are looking to open our first pop-up late 2023 to meet our customers and our audience face to face and for them to be able to touch and see the quality and design details within our products which we work so hard to get right.

Can you share an insight into your future plans?

We are expanding! We have been overwhelmed by the response from our customers not just in the UK but all over Europe and across the Atlantic; so, it’s our intention to supply these areas locally and directly as we do here in the UK. We have launched in the US and Canada in November 2022 and we are on target to do the same within Europe at some point within 2023. In the UK we will continue to grow our range, with collection launches throughout the year and as I say a pop-up in late 2023 will be a super way for us to meet our loyal customers.

Niki and Scarlett

What do you enjoy most outside of work?

Eating and drinking! I love a bit of fine dining or just a nice relaxing long lunch with a generous amount of wine.

If you had a different career, what would it be?

An architect. Similar to lighting, I love how architecture creates atmosphere. It’s a wonderfully creative world to be in these days.

Finally, if you were an item of furniture, what would it be and why?

A dining room table. I think it can be one of the most loved pieces of furniture in any family’s home. Not something that is easily replaced or discarded and it’s so often surrounded by life and laughter, stories and drama, while also given plenty of food and drink!

Five Fun qs:

1) If you could hack into any one computer, whose computer would you choose and why?

I wouldn’t. Its not healthy to be that interested in anyone else’s business… especially illegally so!

2) What fact amazes you every time you think of it?

That everything we do, see, make, eat, use… everything … all comes from our planet and nowhere else.

3) What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

Decide to launch a new lighting brand during lock down and go from pen and paper drawings to delivering to customers within 6 months.

4) What is the most important object you own and why?

My iPhone / iMac / iPad. I couldn’t do what I do with the flexibly I do it all with without them.

5) What did you think was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now?

Leather jackets. They’re probably still pretty cool, but I have never been able to look good in any of them.

Save this article for later

You can revisit this article if you save it as favourite news!

Leave a Comment