This week we have a quick chat with one of our latest crafters, Scott of IGotBigBulbs – a unique lighting and design company. Here he talks about how he came to be inspired by the concept of big light bulbs, how he works with his family and what he does in his spare time.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Scott Rivolta, I run a lighting design and distribution company.
How did you come to start your business?
I stumbled onto this path some 18 months ago while updating the lighting in our kitchen at home. My wife spotted a rather large light bulb online, which she decided should be the centrepiece – the only problem being it was seemingly only available in Australia or the US! Having tracked down the manufacturer, we imported two (one of which broke in transit) and showed the local lighting shops that had inspired us. They confirmed they had seen nothing similar on the UK market and would be interested in stocking the bulb. We were up and running!
How did you get into crafting?
I started to offer the bulbs to smaller local interiors shops rather than just specialist lighting shops, and much as they loved them they needed a way of showing them off. I wanted something quite different and unique way of doing this, and when an oak offcut in the garden grabbed my attention as a potential lamp base, we crafted our first product.
Who and what inspires you to create?
I’ve never been a fan of mass produced products – much to my wife’s frustration we are constantly waiting for “something different, unique or relevant”, which rarely comes along. My father-in-law is a carpenter/furniture maker and my wife’s an artist – they are the talent within the team, I just push things along.
What would you be doing with your time if you weren’t making your lighting designs?
Relaxing! Time is something I’m short of as I’m involved with various other businesses and have a three acre smallholding with pigs and lambs. I hope to spend three weeks in Spain this August – I think it’s important to reward yourself, even more so with your family, for all your hard work during the year.
What five things would you say were essential when you set up your craft business?
THICK SKIN – not everyone will like your designs and crafting is very personal, however in my experience shops are generally supportive because your designs are just that, personal, unique and well made.
PERSEVERANCE – be prepared to put the hours in showing your product. Knock on lots of doors, shops want exciting new products.
PASSION – it shines out of you and makes selling your product so much simpler.
STICK TO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY DOING – with crafting it’s normally a natural progression, as a hobby becomes a business. Making money is the cherry on top!
Having said that, PROFESSIONALISM is key, no matter how small you are, start good habits early. Don’t underestimate your costs or undersell yourself, and stick to your margins.
Name three of your most popular designs.
The Oak Cube lamp base has proved the most popular to date. It’s smaller, less expensive and probably the easiest impulse shopping choice – they are generally bought in pairs as bedroom reading lamps. The Hemp Pendant has been a hit commercially in pubs and restaurants, as well as domestically – three bespoke handmade pendants to hang above the kitchen table or island fits in with current trends. Similarly, The Hemp Snake at three metres or a bespoke length loops over a bracket to create a very special wall light.
What’s new with your craft for 2017? Tell us about some of the exciting things we can expect to see from you in the shop this year.
Having established our small business, I’m now looking to produce more unique product. Display cases for collectibles are very much on-trend, so why not showcase our beautiful filament bulbs!? The Vetrina Cubo is our latest addition to the range, which we stock in five inch cubes or make bespoke to order; the Vetrina Grande houses our Big Globe light bulb, making a statement lamp which will take centre stage in any room.
Thanks Scott! We currently feature a wide range of Big Bulb designs in store – pop in and take a look at some unique and stylish new lighting designs. Prices range from £9.00 to £117.00 for individual bulb, wooden or rope light fixtures, and combinations of both.