Q&A with Jamie Skinner – CEO, OUTASHADE
With the summer nearly over, how has the year been so far for yourself and Outashade?
The year got off to a great start. We had a few projects left over from 2021 which we managed to get finished and see through in early 2022. A lot of people have been starting garden projects in the first part of the year ready for summer. Its been really nice to see some completed projects from swimming pools with pergolas to attractive gardens and small entertainment areas.
What has been the core of your business this year?
While awnings have always been our bread and butter and definitely the highest in terms of sales volume, we have seen an unprecedented demand for pergolas this year. I think this has come off the back of people wanting to create the space where they can entertain and have the flexibility to control the environment.
Have you got any projects that stand out?
The gym in 2021 was definitely a tough act to follow, but this year we did an amazing job in Surrey. It was three pergola units that created one big outdoor space, which worked on a home automation system and was coupled with a projector so the client could watch films, sport and general TV outside. The finished product looks amazing and while we’re proud of all our projects, this is one that certainly stands out.
Sounds like a really cool project, how have you managed to put your own spin on this?
We are very fortunate with the type of client that we work with, as they typically give us a brief of what they would like and what’s important to them. With this job, the client wanted an area where they could bring the kitchen area and living room area of their property and join it with an outdoor structure to help them with the flow of the property. This also gave them a cover where they didn’t need to bring in the outdoor furniture when it started raining. It starts off with a brief and then becomes something much greater than when it started. We managed to include heaters, speakers, blinds and of course the projector. These weren’t in the initial brief, but this is an example of where we can properly bring the project to life. When we are able to do this, it really takes off and becomes something special.
And finally, what is your aim going into the autumn/winter months with Outashade?
Other than trying to make time to watch the World Cup, we try to use this time to prepare for the following year. The guys have worked extremely hard this year, so we will probably try and take our foot off the accelerator a little bit. Excitingly we have a new showroom that we are looking to get ready for next year. We really want a place where we can really showcase our products and hopefully create an environment whereby clients can come and see first-hand the quality of our products.
Ah a new showroom? That’s exciting, where is this going to be?
We’re going to be based in Farnham, Surrey. it’s a lovely town just outside of Guildford. This will give us a lot of flexibility to do some of our bespoke work in the downstairs workshop, while having our showroom upstairs to showcase our products. It will also be a nice working environment for our office guys – we’re hoping this also gives us an opportunity to grow the Outashade Family.