Simon Wallis-Smith is the co-owner of Fritz Fryer, along with Karen Wallis-Smith, a company which they bought in 2004. Simon and Karen originally discovered the company after renovating a cottage outside Ross On Wye, they purchased some lights for the development and soon realised they wanted to own the business. Soon after they bought the company and they have never looked back. They specifically focus on high quality unique lighting, an eclectic mix of antiques, as well as contemporary finds. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Simon Wallis-Smith.
Image Credit: 1) Farrow & Ball 2) Ted Baker 3) Cloudinary 4) Hebtro 5) Capital Coffee
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
My style is certainly very eclectic. I love working on contemporary bespoke lighting but am strongly influenced by well-conceived period design. Functionality and durability are key, just looking good isn’t enough.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
It has been known to involve ping pong balls and wooden kebab skewers, but mostly I start with a pen and paper, find designs I like and then source solutions to create them.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
Margaret Lewis. She has worked at Fritz Fryer for 20 years and is the best person to discuss design ideas with because she will find a practical solution to anything I throw at her. She is an absolute genius with dilapidated crystal chandeliers and has designed several of the lights in our range, including the Sellack lanterns and Tarrington chandeliers.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
At Fritz Fryer we have a long history of antique lighting and enjoy mixing the old with the new and I often find inspiration in traditional shapes and styles.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
I was a well-paid but miserable IT consultant for many years! Despite two children and a mortgage I left to take over Fritz Fryer and I have never looked back; so my advice is to go for it. Whatever you want to do in life, it is worth giving it your best shot.
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