Countdown to 30: An interview with one of our favourite tenants!
As you may have read in last month’s blog the Business Design Centre will be celebrating it’s 30th birthday in October 2016. In a countdown to this great milestone we will be interviewing colleagues, tenants, suppliers and friends of the BDC in our monthly blog feature ‘Countdown to 30’. This month we are featuring our longest standing tenant at the BDC, Georgina Clark from Silent Gliss. Find out in Georgina’s interview below, what it’s been like to have an office at the BDC since the beginning…
How long have you had a showroom at the BDC/tell us a bit about Silent Gliss?
"My first job was in Suite 102 for Ulster Carpets, one of the first tenants and I have worked at the BDC since it first opened, in fact before it opened in August 1986. I worked here for nearly 10 years and then moved upstairs to Silent Gliss and they were also one of the first showrooms too and I knew the original showroom manager, Kay Tromans very well as a fellow tenant so knew all about the company before I joined. They moved from Brewery Road in Holloway to the BDC and were very glad to be an original tenant and that we are still here after all this time. It is testament to the building for this fact. We are still in the same position too."
What’s the best event you have seen in your years here?
"It would have to be the Kirov ballet in the summer of 1988; even setting up 3,000 seats which almost reached the ceiling was a spectacle, seeing it from the Village Green area, it was immense and the Kirov which in those days of the old USSR, felt like an alien nation really. There was always talk of Natalia Markarova, their principle dancer, and defection. It felt like the pages from a spy novel right under your nose. I worked the cloakroom for extra money that paid for a fabulous trip to Chicago, so I cannot forget this event."
Do you find a synergy with some of the shows that run at the BDC?
"We do indeed as some are related to our business; The Sleep Event, Surface Design Show, New Designer’s, which always draws a fabulous mix of visitors and even the Art Fair. Potential customers at this show, the building feels peaceful and so sophisticated during the Art Fair, a bit like our showroom."
How has the venue changed since you started?
"Some fabulous showrooms no longer exist like Griffon, iGuzzini, Teuco, Decorator’s Walk and Heuga, with their giant paint tin. The original Pru Leith restaurant’s very large bar and small food area is a distant memory when you compare it to the fabulous eatery it is now with Good Eating Company. The Aggie Bar has gone from the Mezzanine level at the rear of the building and Diva’s, the bar and nightclub where Kyte Brokers are now above Ask Pizza. But the vibe of the place is still the same, it is always exciting when there is an exhibition."
What’s it like to work at the BDC?
"I have to say it is a great place to work after all these years - you feel safe and secure and can conduct your work in such a confident way. To have a restaurant on site is such a bonus, taking customers and visitors for quick bite when time is precious, but still able to take half an hour out to relax. Customers love that. The venue is so convenient too; I always remember my boss in Kensington saying why would anyone want to go to Islington when I told him the building was opening in 1984! We received a flyer and I just knew I had to work here. So I was head-hunted by Bill Studley, and the rest in history."
Islington’s a great London borough, what’s your favourite local place?
"Well I am an Islington girl, born and bred here (lived on Essex Road and then Englefield Road) and still socialise here. We love going to the Screen on the Green. It used to be such a flea pit but to now be able to have a bottle of wine, on a sofa for two and watch a great movie, well it doesn’t’ get better than that."
For more infomation on Silent Gliss view their website, and you can still read last months Countdown to 30 feature in our blog.
Posted by Kate