Industry Profile: Darren Holliday, Director, Abode Home Products

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In many respects Darren Holliday is a master of ‘niche’ marketing and product innovation. He has an uncanny gift of seeing a gap in the market and then developing products that make the most of that opportunity.

The Abode range of design-leading brassware launched just as some of the established collections were starting to show their age. Likewise Abode’s sink collection re-introduced the concept of the sink as a preparation area. More recently came the Tempeau Thermostatic bath and showering system that perfectly suits the bath and shower combination that makes up the majority of bathroom installations in the UK.

What first drew you into a career in the KBB sector?

Fate. I was working for a store fitting group who were developing the B&Q Warehouse store concept and came into contact with Spring Ram. The rest is history...

Could you tell us a little about the history of your company?

I spotted, what I thought, was a gap in the market in 2002.  Over time, we have built up a team of experienced designers and commercial managers to continue to push the boundaries of sink, kitchen and bathroom brassware design.

The Bliss range of bathroom brassware from Abode has been designed and created, especially for the UK market

The Bliss range of bathroom brassware from Abode has been designed and created, especially for the UK market

If you could describe your work in three words, what would they be?

Customers, Suppliers, Employees.

What do you think is your key strength?

I think I have an eye for good design, but also have a commercial head on my shoulders – the two seem to work quite well together.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I know you should never big up a school friend, but Sir Jonathan Ive, Design Chief at Apple has done quite well for himself and has made a few nice products along the way!

The Abode Aurora kitchen tap features a LED base ring changes colour with the temperature of the water passing through the tap.

What is your favourite item within your own range?

This changes week on week as I tend to test new products in my own home. At the moment it is the Brompton tap with the integrated hand-spray in the kitchen and the Tempeau Thermostatic bath and showering system for bathrooms.

What is the biggest challenge in your working life?

Customers, Suppliers, Employees.

The contemporary styled Pluro tap with a handy pull out spray which will reach into the largest of sinks. 

What advice can you offer young people just starting out in the KBB world?

Start with a career in store design - you never know where it might lead.

Where do you go (or where would you like to go) from here?

Burma.  When I get the chance I love to travel to more out of the way destinations and have recently visited Bolivia, Chile, Rwanda and Uganda.

(All trademarks acknowledged)

Visit Abode and many other exhibitors at kbb Birmingham 2016