Meet the Team Blog | Donna Bellingham | Commercial Director - Parker Knoll
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Meet the Team Blog | Donna Bellingham | Commercial Director

Meet the Team Blog | Donna Bellingham | Commercial Director

Following on from our first Meet the Team blog post, we sat down with our very own Commercial Director, Donna Bellingham. Donna has played an integral part in building the Parker Knoll brand to become what it is today – the UK’s leading Sofa and Chair manufacturer.

What does your role as Commercial Director involve on a day-to-day today basis?

My role is incredibly varied. I am responsible for the creative, commercial, and marketing aspects of the business in general. This means setting the direction and positioning of Parker Knoll, envisioning where it is that we want to take the brand and product development, considering our current and potential consumers. So, in short, I focus on where we are today, and where we want to go as a leading British brand.

You play such an influential role in the brand, what would you say it is that you enjoy most about your role?

I certainly consider myself to be incredibly lucky to work for such an amazing brand, one that is leading in its industry. The variety of my role means that I never have a boring day!

I travel regularly representing the brand at events, and adore getting the opportunity to talk to customers at shows and retailers all over the UK. When you can see the results of your hard work through consecutive successful years and happy customers, it certainly makes everything I do more gratifying.

_ab14609_ab14588Images: the Parker Knoll stand at the January Furniture Show, NEC, showcasing Sloane.

What would you say to anyone who aspires to be in your shoes one day?

When you get to see the things that you try and action have a positive impact on the business, it instantly makes you appreciate the team that you have around you as you see the business growing day by day. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have such a capable supportive team. Company culture is an important part of making your daily job enjoyable so make sure to bear this in mind.

You’ve been working within the furniture industry for over 20 years, initially as a Retail Buyer. What made you choose to continue your career within the furniture industry?

I have always had a real interest in interiors, and especially love beautiful fabrics and textiles.

With a retail and brand background, a role building furniture brands was a perfect fit. It’s a phenomenally creative industry, and I love the process of designing a new product, and then seeing this through to a fully developed collection. Great long standing British brands are also few and far between, so I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to become the custodian of a brand with such an iconic heritage.

 Where do you look for inspiration and where would you say you gather your main influences?

I believe inspiration comes from broadening your outlook. As a company, we make sure to travel regularly throughout the year, researching the next biggest trends in interiors to gain worldwide insight. The Milan furniture show is always inspiring: displaying the finest modern textiles and the most innovative designs. We also tend to work closely with several key mills in Italy and Belgium for beautifully executed new fabrics and leathers, and their enthusiasm for the industry is infectious.


Image: A selection of our bespoke fabric collection exclusively designed for Parker Knoll’s Maison Collection. Geometric Lime, Dot Lime, Carrera Black, Ashley Rose Lime, Hexagon Lime, Scatters in Dot Lime and Pyramid Sage.

So, what does the future hold for the Parker Knoll brand?

We have made incredible progress with the Parker Knoll brand over recent years, and it certainly hasn’t reached its full potential. We have great values here that have been built up over decades – an amazing heritage to hold! We’ve managed to grow from a tiny team of 3 back in 2005, to the scale that we are today. The broad spectrum of possibilities that could evolve from our new state-of-the-art factory, combined with the very powerful story that is the Parker Knoll brand, provides the perfect platform to become one the of largest brands in the UK marketplace.

Next in this series of Meet the Team blog posts, we will be talking to Dean Jon, an upholstery apprentice here at Parker Knoll, about what it’s like to be in training, and about what its like to be a young person working in an industry with such a rich heritage.


Image: Parker Knoll’s impressive state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the heart of the East Midlands.


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