00:02 My name is Anthony H. I’m the design project manager for Ulster Carpets.
00:06 Taking a concept from an interior designer and architect and developing it into a, a finished working drawing for us to do manufacture on the loom. We use the latest technology to, to manufacture the carpet. We have our own patented stuff here so it is the reason why we’re manufacturing in Portadown as opposed to other cheaper areas of the world.
00:25 I spend probably ninety per cent of my time at the computer and ten per cent travelling and meeting customers.
00:33 It’s a CAD package so it’s a design software. We have an electronic pen and, and a tablet where we can actually physically draw anything we want. Whatever we draw on the tablet comes up on the screen and then from, from there we can add colour, shape, pattern, texture to create a design that works on a carpet that we design.
00:53 Well my dad started off as a geologist, my mum was a zoologist, so not really, although my mum has an artistic flair, always has done. So I get it from my mum’s side really I suppose. Dad’ll hate me for saying that. But she, but they were both very good and encouraged me to go into what I was good at, which is the drawing.
01:11 I love, I loved school. I mean I was very lucky, I went to a grammar school in England and I was within walking distance of, of home and I could even nip home at lunchtime and I was also within walking distance of the golf club, I spent a lot of time playing golf when I was young. O levels, I got seven but they weren’t great. Art was, I was always outstanding at that and when I did my A levels art was the only thing that I was excelling in, everything else was, was falling by the wayside, probably cos I was on the golf course too much.
01:42 I sort of took it from there and, and honed my skills I suppose with colour design I went to the university and did a textile design degree and from then on fell into carpets really. I did a work placement year in, in Durham which where I actually got into carpets. It was a textile design degree but my year out was in a carpet factory. I thought I’d stay in carpets cos I had a portfolio that was already started with carpet design. Left university, got a job in Warrington with a carpet company called Kiristan, stayed there for eighteen months and approached Ulster Carpets. At that time I didn’t like living in Warrington, so I wanted to move, I didn’t care where. I approached Ulster Carpets, they said yes we’re looking for designers, they saw my portfolio, so I went to work in their London office and I was there for eight years and after eight years in London, my director contacted me, asked me to move to Northern Ireland and that was in 2003 and I said yes straight away.
02:48 There are occasions when customers have a very definite idea of what they want and then you end up being more of a technician. Again that’s fine cos you can’t be on you’re A game creatively every single day, you need a good happy medium of quite technical work some days and then some days you really do search for something a bit more creative and then it’s really good to have customers who are going to give you free rein to, to create for them or develop something for them.
03:17 My first two years of my degree were, I suppose, coasting a little bit with almost like an expectation that the world owed me something, like when I finish my degree I’ll have this degree and it means something. My year out in industry showed me that it didn’t mean anything. It’s experience that counts and that’s the reason why I got my first job, because I was up against graduates who hadn’t had a year out and of course as an employer who, who are you going to choose? A, a bit of a chance with someone with no experience or someone who’s actually demonstrated a year’s worth of, of, of work and actually show you in a portfolio that look, this is what I did and this is what I can do for you.