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Existing Business Success Story: Skinflint

Success Story: Skinflint

Skinflint Is

The UK’s leading vintage industrial lighting site. Skinflint scours locations across the world to source and restore unique and historic vintage lights; manufactured in the era from 1920 to 1970, and originally utilised in a wide variety of industrial environments.

The business idea came about when Penryn based designers, Chris and Sophie Miller were helping with the restructure of an old Victorian town house in London, whose owner wanted all the original 20th century lighting to be restored back to its former glory. During this process they identified a need and set about creating a business which sources and brings back to life stunning vintage lights.

The process of restoring these lights without impacting their original design, and keeping the character intact, is part of the heritage of their business. There’s an intense procedure to refurbish these lights, including methods such as soda blasting, polishing, lacquering, and rewiring.

Before Transform

Outwardly, they were doing great; they had been featured and recognised by many well-known interior design publications such as Home and Garden and Elle Decoration. Their website was performing well and was nominated in the Cornwall Live Digital Edge Awards.

“We launched the website over 2 months ago, and the early indications are all very positive. If we track user journeys, and ecommerce conversions, everything seems to be up.” Chris, Skinflint

On the inside of the business, however, it was decided that a new strategic direction would improve and benefit their position in the market – this is something they needed help with and so contacted Transform, an EDRF project led by Oxford Innovation.

What Did Transform Do

Chris and Sophie were linked with coaches, Geoff Winward and Theda Grey and have been working hard to drill down to key areas of development to grow their business.

Once we started growing, it was clear that we needed to increase our staffing levels to improve our operational capacity.

“Strategic planning sessions provided confidence in areas that we were lacking knowledge in.” Chris, Skinflint

Theda has been working with Chris and Sophie is help them make key decisions for the business, pricing their products and line ups, formalising their processes, determining which clients to work with, as well as their financial and development reporting.

“Skinflint are extremely astute at running the business. Understanding what they wanted to achieve with the business going forward and how to make informed decisions was the challenge. As for recruitment, there are very good signs that they’ve managed to match skillsets with people in Cornwall as they find people locally to work for them. That’s the biggest thing: to look for people locally” Theda Gray, Transform business coach

Skinflint continues to grow and Chris and Sophie have found the sessions with their Transform coach to be productive and successful so far.

“Every growing business faces challenges on a daily basis, often connected with areas the company have had little experience in. Our support from Transform has been extremely productive, engaging and ultimately assuring, to have access to a network of knowledgeable specialists in any given area.” Chris, Skinflint


If you’d like to learn more about Transform business coaching and support or how Unlocking Potential Jobs can help you recruit the right people for your business, then get in touch by emailing hello@unlocking-potential.co.uk or calling 0845 600 3660.