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Designer joins phil & teds’ Design Team

14 August 2006

Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer Designer joins phil & teds’ Design Team

Is it so hard to believe that a little Wellington company can design something as iconic as the ipod? Apparently not! That’s what phil & teds aim to do in the world of children’s products. And in poaching Phil Brace, the man responsible for Fisher & Paykel’s celebrated dishdrawer, it should be just around the corner.

Phil, “an evangelist for design”, brings with him 22 years of industrial design experience working on new products for global markets. His time at Fisher & Paykel was spent, “pushing new ideas into the business, from creating unique products such as the dishdrawer through to concepts and systems to work in sympathy with the kitchen industry.”

“I’m passionate about taking a fantastic company and making it an international design icon. I have an interest in buggies from a few years ago, there is some unfinished business there!” says Phil on joining phil & teds.

When Campbell Gower took over phil & teds, a Wellington based buggy company, in 1998 he freely admits he knew little about design.

Starting from a small base, Gower grew the company to a point in 2004 where turnover had grown to $3 million, 90 percent of it export driven. It was at this stage that he was persuaded to become one of the first companies to enter Better by Design’s newly launched design audit programme.

The design audit highlighted the need for phil & teds to invest in design and marketing.

Phil & teds now hosts a design hothouse to fuel the innovation that keeps them ahead in the world market place. The team has grown by 20% in the last year. “Phil Brace’s addition to this team builds on terrific talent to ensure that the we keep leading world design”, says Campbell.

Phil & teds are a little bit quirky, their mantra is to help parents “adapt & survive!” Their flagship product, the e3 buggy, adapts to take 2 children from newborn right through to 2 toddlers. “Basically it’s a double-decker - with one kid riding under the other. But it’s barely bigger than a single buggy, incredibly light and easy to manoeuvre.”

Phil & teds is gaining increasing attention globally. They featured recently, amidst much fanfare, on the US show, “The Today Show”. Plus the e3 buggy featured in the Sunday edition of New York’s Daily News, in a Father’s Day supplement about great gear for dads, right next to an image of Brad Pitt and baby Shiloh!

As to the future, the company now has a turnover of $18 million, has 20 employees, exports 92 percent of its product to 20 countries and has a presence in 1200 retail stores worldwide. And with Phil Brace on board, “let’s continue to raise the bar and create the best damn buggy in the world.” The ipod of buggies!

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