How Sussex Tapware Future-Proofed Their Family Business

How Sussex Tapware Future-Proofed Their Family Business


When the GFC hit in 2008, the temptation for a ton of companies was to get their producing offshore. For Vanessa Katsanevakis, the Innovative Director of Sussex Tapware, this was not only an alternative she wasn’t fascinated in, but just one that did not make considerably small business perception.

‘I felt there was a rising group of buyers who have been far more interested in regionally-produced, sustainable homewares and that ended up in a situation to spend a bit extra for them,’ Vanessa points out, demonstrating a nuanced strategic eye and an intimate know-how of her loved ones company that belies her ‘creative’ task title. ‘While it was a possibility, it would pay out off to stick to our roots and preserve neighborhood production.’

With a staunchly spouse and children-oriented history, and all the emphasis on craftsmanship that Sussex previously had pumping by means of its legacy, it created far more sense to continue to keep accomplishing what they ended up accomplishing and weather conditions the storm. Vanessa knew the urge for food for local, handcrafted merchandise would return.

And return it did together with an invigorated and impassioned sustainability motion.

‘There was just so significantly to battle for with our enterprise: all our artisans, who experienced actually been hand-crafting our taps due to the fact the starting, and our exclusive foundry abilities,’ points out Vanessa. As just one of the only faucet makers in Australia to own and operate their possess foundry, this implies Sussex also has a totally shut loop production line. They are capable to soften down swarf (the chippings and debris leftover from metalwork) to develop brass blocks that eventually come to be the tapware.

‘Our foundry permits us to have a sustainable, round generation product, but if we also appear at sustainability as a enterprise practice, staying nearby provides us a lot more manage,’ points out Vanessa. With four factories throughout Melbourne’s north, operating locally also cuts their carbon footprint in fifty percent, primarily as every thing is built and produced in the metropolis. They also not too long ago mounted 100kw solar panels to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by 131 tonnes for each yr.

Although this appears to be as savvy as management tales get, Vanessa did not straight away believe in her instincts when it came to having her established spouse and children company into the 20-very first century. ‘It took me some time to mature the self-confidence to run a company on my very own two ft,’ she recollects. ‘Particularly in the production marketplace which is so male-dominated.’

Significantly like her father – who transferred his look at and jewelry-generating capabilities into tap creating – Vanessa introduced her longstanding passions for architecture and manner to her job as Resourceful Director, aiming to inject influences from other spots of the design sphere into the business’ robust legacy. Vanessa was taking Sussex in an current path, but building the acutely aware determination to maintain the heritage narrative intact, and visible. Progressively, the leadership job commenced to come to feel her individual.

‘When I took more than, a person of the initial factors I set about undertaking was updating the brand name to feel considerably far more present-day and ahead-looking,’ she clarifies of her business enterprise philosophy, intensely imbued with an equivalent attachment to Sussex and the concepts of great style. ‘It’s about carrying all that legacy information and permitting it give us the assurance to be daring and modern with our branding and visual communications.’

With her husband heading up the manufacturing aspect of points, and Vanessa at the innovative helm, the enterprise remains family members-owned and operate, and the pair have been equipped to increase new technological know-how to their production processes, alongside the age-outdated, handcrafted brass approaches. This electronic innovation spills more than into the buyer-going through side of Sussex, with their Design Studio application allowing customers to mix and match colors and finishes on their tapware to build bespoke fittings. ‘Hand-craftsmanship is still a basic pillar of our production methods, but we intention to be agile and responsive, mixing a tailored strategy with huge abilities.’ It’s this blend of digital innovation and relatives legacy that Vanessa states helps make Sussex unique.

‘When I took around from father as Director in 2011, I introduced with me a seriously solid perception of the company’s ethos,’ she suggests. ‘I grew up with Sussex quite significantly getting part of my lifetime and over time I grew to become far more and more concerned. Now it all feels like a extremely natural evolution—one that is nonetheless likely.’



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