Mandy Goldstein, left, and Eileen Trippier
What is your business?
We make totally bespoke handmade silk lampshades and paper shades to almost any size, shape or design. We have a large range of fabrics and customers can use their own fabric. We also mend lamps. We cover all the aspects of the lighting industry at two premises, Ann’s and Kensington Lighting Company, both in Kensington Church Street, London, W8. Eileen Trippier is managing director, Mandy Goldstein director.
How long have you been in your premises?
72 years trading under the name Ann’s. We have two showrooms. The other one is across the road. We opened the other shop 30 years ago.
When are you at your busiest?
That’s a very difficult question, because we are very well known in Kensington. We feature in a lot of magazines. When the clocks change and it gets darker the window looks its best, so October to April is a busy time.
What is your bestseller?
Lampshades and lamp bases. We have about 2,000 bases to choose from.
Who are your typical customers?
A lot of Kensington clientele, but we come highly recommended from department stores like Harrods.
How are you coping with the economic downturn?
Business has changed and you have to be very open to be flexible to accommodate people. We cope by being flexible and offering anything to anybody.
What is your unique selling point?
We hold the Royal Warrant so we make all the lampshades for the palaces. We don’t import any of our stuff. It’s hand-made at our factory in Hayes near Heathrow.
Any plans to expand?
We will be very happy staying as we are and growing the two shops and keeping the workshop strong.