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Meet the Team – Jo Butters – Creative Designer

Meet the Team – Jo Butters – Creative Designer

At Parker Knoll, we take pride in designing the best of British Sofas and Chairs. All of which is made possible by our dedicated teams of experts.

In this week’s ‘Meet the Team’ blog, we are sitting down with Jo Butters, Creative Designer here at Parker Knoll. Jo is one of the key members of the team behind our latest fabric and sofa collections. We’ll be hearing about what inspires Jo, the future for Parker Knoll’s styling, and also her advice to aspiring younger designers.

How long have you been working in the furniture industry?

As a graduate I took up a position as a lecturer, nurturing emerging talent through textile practice, drawing and contextualising. However, I had a burning interest in industry, and decided to follow this path. I’ve since been working in upholstery, selecting, designing and developing fabrics for 5 years.

Creating ideas and engineering concepts has been a prominent theme throughout my career, which means my roles have always been incredibly varied. It’s safe to say that I have made some hard decisions along the way, which have required determination and focus. The commonality between each role comes back to being creative through textiles regardless of their use and purpose.

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You’ve been working with us at Parker Knoll for a few years now, what do you love most about your role as Creative Designer?

My focus is always on trends in interiors, specifically colour and fabric. Seeing your ideas transit from initial concepts, to final products in store, is exciting for the whole Design and Development team – it’s what it’s all about! Being part of this process for such a reputable brand is tremendously rewarding.

Focusing on the ‘innovation’ and ‘development’ areas of your role, what inspires you most?

I am totally visual, and I work in the context of storytelling through picture and narration. When a fabric supplier presents a new collection, I am seeking innovation in yarns, construction and design. It’s just the way I’m wired. Making it work in line with the business proposition challenges you creatively. That’s part of the everyday process.

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What do you love most about the Parker Knoll fabric collection?

Quality and heritage are key messages within the Parker Knoll brand.

Our fabric range is about beautifully manufactured fabrics thoughtfully put together for our customer – a message carried across our brand. This amplifies the importance of carefully crafted British product.

You mentioned your focus on trends within the industry – what do you see as the future for Parker Knoll’s collection/style?

I’m feeling really excited to be working on new collections for our September launch. We are taking colours and textures in new directions, and building on our already successful range, so watch this space!

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When you’re not at the Parker Knoll office here in rural Nottinghamshire, where would we find you?

You’ll find me at home, more than likely rearranging my own personal space, or scavenging flea markets looking for objects of interest. I recently mounted an old typewriter to the wall – that’s possibly my best find recently.

Aside from that, I’m forever plotting my next trip home to the Norfolk coast, and winter beach walks are high on my list of priorities right now!

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Finally, reflecting on your career so far, what advice would you give to aspiring younger designers?

Always be open to new ideas – being creative depends on this intuition. As you grow, aspire to become an expert in your field, but value the importance of learning, challenging and developing yourself.

I’d give yourself this advice now, and continue to do so in the future.

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