For a link to the magazine click here. Or for a behind the scenes look at the full article, keep reading:
WCNW: To begin, tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Professionally, I’m an experienced Sales, Marketing and Business Development Director, with a history predominantly in the medical device industry. In addition to being skilled at directing companies, I’d say my strengths include strategic development, product lifecycle management, medical device sales and customer relationship management. But outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and dogs, paddle boarding, kayaking and am a black belt in karate!
WCNW: What made you set up the business? / What attracted you to the company?
I took on the role of Managing Director as part of the company merger with Full Support Group Ltd in 2021.
Before joining Design Reality I was a Sales Director at Full Support Healthcare, one of the largest PPE manufacturers to the NHS. In 2021, their parent company, Full Support Group, acquired Design Reality Ltd and the owners were after a Managing Director to step in.
Keen for a new challenge, I stepped up to the plate and haven’t looked back since.
WCNW: Once the idea was formed, what did you do next?
Acquisitions are tough for any company, so my first focus was to understand the business and the team. The journey they’ve been on and where, together, we should head towards.
WCNW: What are your main responsibilities?
As the Managing Director of Design Reality, I see myself as the conductor of the orchestra; as I ensure our team understand their roles and have the tools to play well to ensure we achieve a beautiful sound. A large part of my role involves investigating new music (projects) to expand our portfolio and introduce new talent to Design Reality.
WCNW: What does a typical day involve?
From catch ups with the senior leadership team to discuss the latest innovative design, to discussions with stakeholders about advertising budgets; my role involves a lot of meetings.
WCNW: Who are your target audience and what is the main aim of the organisation?
As a Product Design Agency, the main purpose of Design Reality Ltd is to support other companies/organisations/individuals in turning their concepts into fully-realised products.
Whether it’s an innovative respirator, cutting-edge prosthetic limb cover or revolutionary hand-dryer – whatever your design, we’ll work with you to develop it, prototype it, and perfect it.
WCNW: What projects are you currently working on?
We’re always working on a number of projects at Design Reality, with dedicated designers, engineers and product specialists committed to different clients based on their needs.
WCNW: How have things gone so far?
Since taking the helm, we’ve made lots of exciting developments as a company. We have a brand-new website, a new sales team, new designers, 5 new design awards and have completed several meaty projects for some very well-known companies.
WCNW: Any difficulties? If so how did you overcome them?
Part of our role at Design Reality is finding solutions to our client’s problems. Whether you need a shatter proof casing for an industrial monitor, Wi-Fi connectivity for a therapeutic device, or a 3d printed prototype – our business is to overcome difficulties.
WCNW: Did you ever think ‘I’ve taken on too big a risk’? If so, how did you overcome it?
A large part of what we do is design solutions to existing problems. This in itself is quite risky, as if the solutions were obvious, we wouldn’t be needed!
To get the most out of our team of designers and product specialists we try to instill in them that no idea is a bad one. That no product design comes out perfect on the first go. That it’s okay to make mistakes and pursue ideas that don’t end up working out, as it’s all part of the process.
WCNW: Looking ahead, what are your main aims for the organisation and how would you like it to develop?
At Design Reality, we’re taking active steps towards a better, more sustainable future, through design, production and investment.
As a Design Agency, we’re involved in every aspect of product development, from concept to prototyping, development to production. And, as a result, we’re able to make positive sustainable changes to the products we help make through the way in which we design them. For example, our multi-award-winning respirator was designed to be a reusable alternative to single-use respirators. With millions of single-use respirators used each year by the NHS alone, we are actively trying to reduce waste through design.
We’re also looking at ways we can invest in more sustainable living ourselves. Whether its car-pools for staff, our flexible working from home policy or our plans to invest in a new eco-friendly production facility, we’re doing all we can to live more sustainably.
WCNW: How have businesses and individuals responded to what you’re offering?
Design Reality has been running for over 20 years, working with some of the biggest corporations in the world. Providing product design support and development. This has gone from strength to strength. And with our new commercial department, we expect this to grow even more.
WCNW: What message would you give to other people in business?
Businesses are only as successful as the people within the company. Personally, I am committed and passionate about leading the Design Reality team to achieve the growth objectives we have set and to lead by example with honesty and confidence in all business decisions, so that the team are all working to achieve the same goal.