Minotti London in conversation with Lester Bennett of Folio Design LLP - post image background.

Minotti London in conversation with Lester Bennett of Folio Design LLP

As part of a series of films exploring the relationship between interior designers, architects and their suppliers, we visited Folio Design LLP’s Lester Bennett.

Lester set up in private practice in 1983 employing up to 7 designers and support personnel, working primarily on high- end private residential and residential development projects but also within the commercial, retail and industrial sectors.

In addition to many private residential clients, the client base for the practice included national and international companies such as Mobil, Alliance and Leicester, Celador Television Production Co., Morgan (fashion), Elstree Film Studios, Taylor Walker Breweries and many property development companies.

We asked Lester some important questions about the relationships he has with his suppliers and how that reassures his clients, supports his business and saves his team valuable time throughout the design process.

Hit the play button below to watch the full conversation, or read the full transcript below:

Lester Bennett: With Minotti, what we’ve found is that they’ve just given us so much of a personal relationship. I mean, it’s first name terms and so on, but if we need any help, they’re really helpful, very friendly. Very knowledgeable as well.

To a degree. I mean, if you’ve got specific needs of a client or of a site, say you got to get a particular seating arrangement within a room and that room is difficult, or there is a specific requirement of the client, then you need to understand what different configurations of a particular sofa range will fit in that space.

minotti the brasilia sofa

If you don’t know, I mean, it could take you half an hour to an hour going through all the different configurations to fit. And if you make a phone call or if you’re in the studio with Gail or something and she says, “Oh, look. This one will work because we can do this, this, and this.”

Minotti is quite a reverse of that. You know, we’ve always had really good time slots. If they say they’re going to deliver it Tuesday at 10 o’clock, it’s Tuesday at 10 o’clock. And if there is a problem, and I’ve only experienced one problem in six years, it’s dealt with right away.
We take them to the showroom rather than just show images.

Minotti London Showroom in

I mean, we may show images initially, but then we take them to the showroom. And in all instances, once they’re in the showroom and they start to sit on the product, they’re sold because it’s such a great product. I mean, it’s so comfortable. I think that’s one of the main things I’ve found with Minotti over the years, that once I can go to other companies who have different things to offer that are also attractive, that the comfort level of a lot of things on the market, I know in Minotti’s comfort level.

All the designs are very elegant. They’re very well considered and have a lot of grace to them. They’re varied enough to suit most environments that we’re working in.

When we’re doing pictures for our room., so that we’ve got two or three ideas for a proposal, being able to get that information off the website, download it and put it into our drawings immediately is fantastic. And also Menotti does the 3D models. Now we do 3D printing here.

If you walk into a showroom and the rep comes up to you and says, “Hello, Lester, it’s great to see you. How are you doing blah, blah, blah.” The client immediately feels comfortable because they know that you have a relationship and they know that you are recognised by the sales team. So that gives them confidence in you as a designer and similarly, it gives them confidence in the showroom.


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