ISLE of Wight entrepreneur Matthew Jeffery is one of the pre-eminent figures within the location’s design circles.
Having started operations with Brightbulb Design from the comfort of his living room in 2014, Matt has built a multi award-winning business which now operates from offices at East Quay in Wootton Bridge.
The ambitious designer spoke exclusively to Kureen about the company’s rapid evolution and plans for the future.
Hello Matt, what were you doing before Brightbulb Design was formed?
“I worked for Isle of Wight firm, AJ Wells and Sons, with lovely people as part of a great business manufacturing wood burning stoves and enamel London underground signs.
“Before that I worked in London designing outdoor advertising campaigns for the likes of British Gas and Marc Jacobs and earlier in my career I worked in Sydney and Melbourne for global engineers Arup as an in-house graphic designer.”
Was it scary setting up your own business?
“It was daunting, especially as I had just had my second child, Jasper, and it was possibly the worst time to quit my job and hope for the best with the new business!
“But it paid dividends — sometimes you have to take risks to get the rewards.”
Were there any inspirations you used as guidance for Brightbulb?
“I took inspiration from businesses I had worked for in the past and tried to incorporate values I had seen there.
“In my younger years, I looked up to the likes of Marriott Design as a leading Island design studio and wanted to follow in that same vein as a local design studio that worked on various big brands across the country.”
What services does Brightbulb offer?
“Brightbulb is a design and digital studio offering graphic design, web and app development, social media management, video and marketing activities.
“We excel in our technical web abilities, with vast knowledge and experience of creating clever systems for businesses to help automate and improve their processes.”
Has the pandemic affected the team and made you adapt your short-term plans?
“When lockdown first hit we saw an influx (of work) on the digital side due to everyone realising they needed a website. It went crazy for a while and we had to employ another web developer to keep up.
“We ended up creating a programme called Adapt UK to help people gain grant funding for digital projects which also helped to generate extra revenue for the business while delivering a great website to the client at half the cost.”
What is the long-term vision for Brightbulb — will you retain an Island HQ?
“We will always retain our Isle of Wight headquarters as it is where we are from and we want people to come to the Island to experience what a great place it is to live and work.
What advice would you share with people interested in starting their own business?
“Don’t go into it blind. Speak to other business owners to get an understanding of what it means to work for yourself and own a business.
“It is hard work, you have to make sacrifices and it can take its toll over time but the rewards can be fantastic.”
Brightbulb is a family affair — what is the role of your wife, Fiona?
“Without Fi allowing me to follow my dream we would never have got this far. She has been a constant rock.
“If I’m not sure of something, she is the perfect sounding board and brings me down to earth if I go off on crazy tangents!
“Fi is operations director at Brightbulb but we all refer to her as the head of happiness.”
Finally Matt, are there any ideas in the pipeline you can exclusively share today?
“Oooh… we can’t give anything away I’m afraid! We are busy getting our latest employees settled in and have promised two members of staff management positions as we build a new structure into the business, laying the foundations for exciting times ahead.”
Brightbulb Design can be reached by phone on 506505, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at brightbulbdesign.co.uk