Q&A: Chelsom ‘Edition 27’ collection: Part 1

Chelsom designs and manufactures high-quality decorative lighting for the international hotel and marine industries. Design Insider is delighted to share the first part of an exclusive interview with Chairman, Robert Chelsom and Managing Director, Will Chelsom about their Edit 27 Collection. 

[Find Chelsom on the BCFA Product Finder]

Edit 27 Collection – Video Preview

Click here to request Edit 27 catalogue. 

Please can you introduce your design team and tell us about your design process?

We believe Chelsom is fairly unique in that we have an owner/ designer set up. Every single product we sell is designed in-house and all designs are created by Will (Managing Director) and Robert Chelsom (Chairman). We begin with the concepts which usually take the form of hand sketches and we have always found that the best starting point. These sketches are then passed to a team of four CAD technicians who will work up the sketches into basic engineering drawings and initial 3D renders. These are passed back to Will and Robert for further development processes. Once they reach a satisfactory level they are passed to the technical team who will assess the technical functions ensuring compliance with the latest national and international regulations and the product will be checked for energy-saving efficiency and light output. Finally, the designs are passed to manufacturing management to assess different production techniques which will ensure long term function is guaranteed from the most cost-effective production methods.

Chelsom launched the Edition 27 collection last year, can you tell us more about it?

The creation of a new Chelsom catalogue takes around 18 months and different designs take different amounts of time to perfect within that period so the end result is a real labour of love. Triggered by fashion cycles, interior trends are moving increasingly faster and in doing so constantly stimulate new design directions when it comes to finishes and materials, which is something we have given careful consideration to. Edition 27 has been a fantastic collection to produce and it’s our most ground-breaking to date. We are proud to be able to say that all product has been designed in-house to create this diverse lighting collection that truly caters for all levels of the hospitality and marine sectors.

Tell us what it was like launching in a pandemic? Did this prove to be challenging?

Yes, launching in a pandemic was extremely challenging. For all previous new collections, we have launched with a substantial London based party where we have taken over suitable premises, created a pop-up showroom and exposed the entire new collection to some 300 hospitality industry specialists who have attended. Ours is a very touchy-feely product and our clients have loved the opportunity to see the new ranges in the flesh. Sadly with the pandemic that has not been possible and so we switched all our efforts to a digital marketing launch campaign. Through many different media platforms, we have ensured the new collection has received maximum coverage and support from leading media partners and we have been delighted with the results. Rather than making personal visits to clients offices, our sales team have been making Zoom presentations around the world.

What inspired the design of the collection?

As always every design that we create begins with where it’s going to be used. Because we aim 100% at the hospitality and marine marketplaces each product we create has a preordained destination where it’s going to end up whether it be a guestroom bedside table, bathroom mirror light, illumination for a hotel corridor, something ambient for a bar or a spectacular pendant for a public area so design life begins with that final visualisation in mind. Beyond that inspiration comes from the many international hospitality interiors in which we work and the great fortune we have in collaborating with the world’s top interior design practices.

Did you adopt sustainable practices in the manufacturing and development of your collections?

We are committed to becoming more sustainable in everything we do as a business and product design is no exception. We are proud to say that Chelsom is one of the country’s pioneers in transforming the hotel and marine industries to users of energy efficient LED light sources. Under our guidance, these sectors have reduced energy consumption by up to 80%. Every lighting product in the collection uses an LED light source and we know that this will contribute to a massive reduction in carbon usage across the marketplace.

We manufacture both in the UK and Overseas and we work with freight partners who offer a Net Zero Carbon programme, actively contributing to the reduction of CO2 in transport and logistics. Our management systems are based on ISO 14001 (International standard for implementing environmental management systems) and we ensure all elements of our supply chain are rigorously audited and scrutinised to ensure that sourcing, manufacturing and transport are up to standard.

Edition 27 product catalogue was the first collection to be printed on carbon balanced paper as delivered by international conservation charity World Land Trust, whose Carbon Balanced Programme offsets emissions through the purchase and prevention of high conservation value forests. We are already looking at starting the design process for our collections launching in 2 years and sustainability will be at the core of this new collection and we are already exploring ways in which we can design eco-friendly product ranges.

Thank you so much to both Robert and Will for providing an insight into this beautiful collection. Stay tuned as next week we will be sharing the second half of the Q&A!

Click here to request the Edit 27 catalogue. 


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About Jess Mockler

Jess is a Marketing & Event professional who joined the BCFA as a Marketing Executive in 2019. Working closely with designers and BCFA members, Jess has published an array of content for the Commercial sector.
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