19 May 2024, 15:02
By Victoria Noakes Aug 11, 2016

Edward Tadros, ercol

Edward Tadros is the chairman of ercol. Founded in the early 1920s, the ercol brand has become synonymous with great design combined with functionality. ercol has a strong British design heritage and today’s designs are created within its design studio in Princes Risborough in the English Chiltern Hills.

How did you enter the trade?
I feel like I’ve been in it pretty much since birth. When I was eight or nine my grandfather Lucian Ercolani used to come and stay with us and he would take me out – we would go and look at the beautiful doors of the Georgian buildings in the old town of Poole in Dorset. My reward was dinner with him in a restaurant in Poole somewhere, when we had fresh fish just caught in the bay. Much later I trained as a designer in the then Kingston School of Art and my fate was sealed.

Who is your inspiration?
ercol was founded by my grandfather who has been a huge inspiration my whole life.

What has been your career high point?
My career high point has to be the re-creation of ercol for the 21st century. We moved into the new building in 2002 and began a process of rejuvenating the company for the future, which is, and will remain, an on-going project that progresses more and more each year.

... and low point?
The low point was the middle of the first decade of the 21st century when the project seemed slow to get off the ground.

Describe a typical working day
The great thing for me is that there is no typical working day – they are all different and all very rewarding. Sometimes I’m in the factory all day, other times I am out visiting customers or looking at furniture and designs. I’ve been very involved in helping to re-invigorate our International business which has involved a lot of travelling, which I find fascinating.

If you had to start over, you’d probably pursue which career?
I had always thought I would like to be an architect, but I am very glad I am not. There can be few careers that give such a mixed and varied life as mine.

What date on the business calendar do you most look forward to?
I enjoy the shows. I have always been involved in the design and preparation and the build up of the shows from Birmingham, Paris, Milan, New York, Long Point, London Design Festival and so on.

I also look forward to the arrival of new machines in the factory. We have just installed a new 5-axis CNC machine which continues our commitment to manufacturing and should give us substantial efficiencies in our processes.

What is the most important issue affecting your business right now?
Our challenge is always to try and keep the ercol brand name as the go-to name in the mind of furniture buyer.

Which company do you most look up to?
I admire companies who bring design and manufacturing and integrity together in one product or range of products, and there aren’t so many!

What would you most like to change about yourself?
To be much physically fitter! I have rather committed to getting there as I have agreed to join the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers’ next Masters Outing which is a cycle ride from London to Bordeaux in September 2016. As chairman of the Trustees I wanted to support this particular fund-raising effort which is aiming to raise £50k. The charity now gives away substantial sums for welfare, education, and training for people in the industry young and old.

What do you enjoy most about working in the trade?
The personalities and the very personal way the industry exists. I have never worked in another industry but I find it hard to imagine that others are as close-knit as the furniture industry always has been, and I hope always will be!

Leave us with an industry anecdote please!
There is a very old story going back to the days when furniture retailers were often also undertakers. I had an old friend who was one of these retailers, and he used to tell the stories of how when they assembled coffins they used to take the labels off the mattresses and stick them inside – names like Rest Assured and Sleepezee!

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