Original BTC is our Supplier of the Week, 29 August – 4 September.
Founded by Peter Bowles, Original BTC are a popular name in the industry and it is easy to understand why. From responsive customer service, to rescuing factories on the brink of closure, this family-run business offer both new and familiar UK-made lighting solutions. Original BTC has a lighting catalogue itself, as well as being the umbrella brand for Davey Lighting and Beadlight, allowing them to continue manufacturing in Britain.
We spoke with the team to find out more.
What’s the story behind Original BTC?
Original BTC was founded by Peter Bowles, who’s relaxed, familiar lighting is driven by a family heritage of design steeped in manufacturing and business.
Childhood visits to his father’s manufacturing facilities opened Peter’s eyes to the clean lines of traditional factory fittings and the versatility of mid-century style. Peter soon opened a Sheffield factory producing a million pieces of own-designed cutlery a year.
Challenged by the design limitations of cutlery, in 1990 Peter went back to his roots with an Oxford-based lighting factory. “My goal was to design and produce lights that you are instantly at home with, that will fit easily and comfortably for many years to come”.
When a visit to the Stoke-on-Trent shade manufacturer revealed the factory was under threat of closure, Peter promptly took on the business, including all staff. Later, unsatisfied with the finish of commonly-used plastic lighting flex, he replaced it with woven cotton braid snipped off the family iron, soon becoming one of Original BTC’s best-loved design features.
A unique figure in British manufacturing, Peter’s repertoire includes launching new brands, rescuing struggling British heritage brands and factories as well as designing the group’s products, all in conjunction with son Charlie who became Director in 2012.