MANAGING DIRECTOR OF JONES BRITAIN , DAN STRONGE IS CELEBRATING HIS 21ST ANNIVERSARY OF BEING IN THE KITCHEN DESIGN INDUSTRY . THIS MONTH , WE SAT DOWN TO TALK WITH DAN ABOUT HOW HE HAS DEVELOPED JONES BRITAIN AND HOW HE JOINED THE KITCHEN DESIGN INDUSTRY .
How did you get started in kitchen design ?
I had an interest in drawing and painting from a very young age , as early as 5-6 years old I entered many art competitions . I also loved building Lego , so I guess you could say art & design has been with me and will continue to be with me for my entire life .
On the 22nd of February 1996 , a rather young 20-year-old version of myself joined a Sussexbased kitchen retailer as an admin assistant for the company . After 18 months of working hard and having a driven passion for learning about kitchen design , I was promoted to lead kitchen designer for one of their showrooms . I continued with this role for the next 3-4 years , then in 2001 I decided a change of scenery was needed .
Sounds like you have always been creative , what did you do then ?
I moved over to work for a bedroom furniture manufacturer as their area manager in the South East . Working for this company broadened my knowledge for bedroom design and how each of the units are made by the manufacturer .
In 2003 I moved away from bedrooms and back into kitchen design to work for one of my current suppliers , Mereway Kitchens .
Between 2001 and 2005 I learnt how other kitchen retailers dealt with customers , designed a space , presented to the client and how they ran their kitchen showrooms . This was all extremely useful experience in preparation for opening my own showroom in years to come .
When did you decide to go it alone ?
In 2005 my wife and I , Sophie decided to move to France to start our own family . In France I built my own design studio and sold kitchens to expats as well as designing retail showrooms for UK Kitchen companies ( which I had done since 2001 ) under the name of Studio Designs . This allowed me to keep in the loop with the UK kitchen retail market as well as the French market .
When did you become Jones Britain ?
At the beginning of 2009 Sophie and I decided to return to the UK with our two young children and formed Jones Britain . In 2011 I was given an amazing opportunity of opening a showroom in Heathfield , East Sussex . Having been based in London for two years and working alongside architects and commercial kitchen designs I was eager to get back into designing bespoke , residential kitchens .
What has been your biggest achievement ?
My biggest achievement through business would have to be successfully running Jones Britain and it being more successful than I could have ever imagined . Another substantial achievement was being nominated as a finalist at the KBB Review Awards for one of my bespoke kitchen designs which even after three years still gains a huge amount of attention .
This week Dan celebrates 21 years in the industry with his Heathfield kitchen showroom still going strong . Dan now designs bespoke kitchens , bedrooms and bathrooms for the residential market of East Sussex , Kent , Surrey and surrounding areas giving clients functional yet beautiful and timeless designs . With such a wealth of knowledge and experience Dan ’ s clients at Jones Britain feel totally at ease that their kitchen is in the hands of a professional .
We congratulate Dan for his 21 years in the industry and wish him all the best for the future with Jones Britain .