Meet Guillaume, designer and champion of made in Britain

Continuing our local business series on People of the World, today we’re talking to Guillaume Lyons, founder of Kaigami Ltd, a UK company which produces innovative folding lampshades. Kaigami’s designs are loosely inspired by the Japanese art of origami, but the company also aims to “maintain Britain’s reputation for producing classic designs”.

Guillaume in his workshop

Please tell us a bit about yourself

From a young age I have always been a creative person, I can remember whilst in primary school picking up elastic bands and other bits from the playground and arranging them to form some kind of mechanical toy.

I studied art at GCSE level and at A-level I chose art and C.D.T. (Craft, Design and Technology), from this point in my life it was clear to me that I would study design to the end of my educational life and that is what I have accomplished. I would like to be involved in education later in my career to give seminars about design in business.

What is your business?

Kaigami designs houseware items and offers laser cutting services to other professionals. We currently have a collection of 8 designer light shades for sale on the high street and online.

Where are you based?

Kaigami is based in Lewes, East Sussex. The company is dedicated to reducing its carbon foorprint and we produce all our designs in the UK, using laser technology in our own production facility .

How do you reach your customers? How do your customers find you?

Kaigami attends trade shows to reach potential clients, we also advertise through Google Adwords, also we have a great web presence so clients find us that way.

What’s a typical day like?

A typical day consists of replying to emails from clients requesting information on Kaigami, processing orders. Managing the student interns and writing invoices.

Kaigami's Nautiply lampshade

What’s the best thing about what you do?

The best thing about what I do is creating new designs and having the freedom to do so.

What’s the hardest thing about what you do?

The hardest thing about what I do is creating structure so that the business runs with efficiency. Since I am a start up and have limited cash flow it’s hard trying to grow the business.

What part of your job gizes you a buzz?

Making sales, because that means having the cash flow to develop new designs.

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About the author

Lucy (Liz) Chatburn
Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.
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