David Hunt Lighting traces its roots back to its founder John Hunt, a master of brass, born in 1687. More than three centuries later, the family-owned company has built an exclusive partner network of the finest lighting showrooms in the UK over the last two decades. At the same time, the brand has enhanced its range of bespoke services, using many of the techniques mastered at the original David Hunt Lighting factory.
The past 18 months have been uniquely challenging for individuals and small businesses alike, and David Hunt Lighting has certainly been no exception. The artisanal nature of its business and products means that some members of its team are jointly responsible for up to eight separate processes during the creation of a single light, and so none of them were able to work from home during the numerous periods of lockdown.
However, the entire business quickly pulled together to transform the Shipston-on-Stour workshop into a safe and socially distanced environment where its craftspeople could confidently return to work.
Working hours were also modified where necessary for staff members, to ensure that those who needed to were able to adjust their work-life commitments during such a difficult time.
Indeed, it is entirely thanks to the team’s steady resilience and unwavering passion for their craft that the brand has not only been able to weather the recent economic storm, but has actually continued to thrive despite the numerous difficulties of the past couple of years.
David Hunt Lighting has just finished participating at Focus/21 at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, where it now also proudly hosts its London-based showroom. It was also privileged, it says, to have been asked to assist with the Design Havens for Heroes campaign last year, whose mission statement is ‘to bring together the community of talents from the interior design field in order to create havens for accredited NHS key workers who have been working on the front line during the crisis’.
This sentiment resonates strongly with David Hunt Lighting’s Creative Director, Hollie Moreland, who is passionate about positive action, whether via charitable acts, conservation or just raising public awareness. Recently, she started a small but nonetheless inspiring campaign to donate the cost of her morning coffee each week to a different charity; by week four she had donated to Women for Afghan Women, Doctors Without Borders, Fareshare and The Woodland Trust, which helps to create, protect and restore native woodland.
Conservation is also a key area of awareness for David Hunt Lighting at large: over recent years the team has internally audited the company’s entire packaging procedure to make sure that even as a smaller manufacturer, it is doing as much as it can to minimise its environmental impact and encourage eco-friendly and sustainable behaviour towards consumables.
‘Small acts over time add up to big differences,’ says Hollie.
As these last years have shown, a small heritage business relies on the resilience, creativity and adaptability of its staff to succeed. No wonder David Hunt Lighting believes its talented craftspeople were its heroes of 2021.