AN INSIGHT INTO SOFT FURNISHINGS with STEVEN BALLARD, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF BALLARDS GROUP
Established since 1966, Ballards holds more than 50 years of trusted experience in the soft furnishings industry. Features Editor Tonje had a chat with the man himself, Steven Ballard, to find out how the company is doing…
In what way does the heritage of the company play a role in the development of soft furnishings?
With 52 years of trusted experience, there are not many situations or designs that we cannot solve. Every aspect of curtain making and upholstery has been explored over the last half century, which not only provides our clients with confidence but enables us to deliver to the highest of standards whether in the UK or overseas.
How has the company developed in the past 50 years and how has this affected the way the company works?
Ballards started as a re-upholstery and cabinet making business. During the 1970’s, my father added curtain making and by the early 80’s, we had three full-time upholsterers and curtain makers handling large commissions, primarily from the Middle East. During the late 90’s, we introduced cleaning services to our remit to further expand our business portfolio. Following a successful headboard order in 2003, we embarked upon larger scale manufacturing, allowing us to arrive at where we are today. In 2007, we invested in our warehouse and now handle complete furniture installations for private clients, designers and retail outlets.
What measures are important to take to ensure top-quality products?
As the Managing Director, I ensure that all of our craftsmen and women have profound experience in their field, several with more than 25 years. Rather than mass production, quality is everything and therefore my skilled employees have a meticulous attention to detail. Combining this expertise with the high-quality products, namely fabrics, poles/tracks and furniture frames, I am fully confident Ballards will deliver the best they can. This results in minimal complaints and more importantly, product longevity.
What inspires the design of your products?
The clients’ needs are first and foremost. We listen to what they want to achieve and then take a view on the most suitable window treatment from both a technical and aesthetic point of view. Once we have taken a full brief, the designs are created accordingly. Once the client signs off the design, the manufacturing process is put into place and their design comes to life.
What makes Ballards stand out from your competitors?
The main factor we hear a lot is that most designers, architects or owners can have so many services supplied from Ballards instead of using many different companies. Curtains, upholstery, stretched fabric walling, carpets, and decorating can all be handled by our team, and on top of that we have the warehouse and worldwide delivery with full installation service and an aftercare of cleaning and maintenance if required. Each project has its own manager so we really do our best to provide our clients with an unrivalled high level of service and professionalism.