Hi Peter, how did Heritage Tiles come about?
In 1987 my father bought a small business called Heritage Ceramics based in Warkworth, we made terracotta tiles. We got tired of telling people that we made tiles and not plates or mugs, so we changed the name to Heritage Tiles in the mid-nineties. The best part about being involved the tile production business was that it gave me a fantastic grounding in the technical details of tile manufacture.
Which has stood you in good stead today?
Yes, now we import over 200,000 square meters per annum, from all over including Europe, Asia & South America. We’ve recently had a big lift in our Italian tile; they’ve heavily invested in technology and have the edge. Sure they’re a bit more expensive, but still offer great value. Every year we visit the tile fairs in Italy and suppliers in other countries, checking out the factories when we can. With our extensive experience in tiles, we can make really informed decisions about who we are going to buy from. Which gives me real confidence in the products that we import, so much so, that we offer a 10 year guarantee on our tiles. Of course we get assistance from our design staff to select the hottest new ranges.
Wow that’s quite a change from manufacturing terracotta tiles in Warkworth to importing at that level, how did that come about?
In 1994 I arrived home permanently from London and just got stuck in, my brother still manufactures tiles as Middle Earth Tiles up in Warkworth and I took up the importing arm of the businesses and ran with it. Today we have 10 stores and extensive stocks in our warehouse.
So why the name change?
We were starting to get a lot of feedback that Heritage Tiles didn't reflect the range that we stock. Our market research shows us that we have a great reputation, so our repeat and word of mouth business was really going well. But in terms of people who hadn't dealt with us before or weren't recommended by a friend, they were mistaking our offering for that of ‘heritage’ style, which isn't what we’re about at all, in fact we are bringing in an extremely design focused range. So we thought lets bite the bullet and change the name!
And the orange colour has gone too! Why the purple?
Well the orange colour hasn't completely gone, it’s still our accent colour. But again it was all about trying to visually represent what we offer to the consumer. The orange is a bright, poppy, friendly colour, but not necessarily sophisticated and designer.
But you still have a very ‘bright’ logo.
Yes we deliberately stayed away from muted colours, we wanted to stand out, whether on the road side or on a magazine page. Purple is the colour of luxury, it’s a very deep, rich colour and we felt that it kills two birds with one stone, it stands out and it’s a designer, sophisticated colour.
Thanks Peter, look forward to seeing more of Tile Space in the future!