We talk to Timothy Oulton Ambassador David Dingle about his role at the Newcastle Barker and Stonehouse store.
- What does your job involve?
As an ambassador of Timothy Oulton for Barker and Stonehouse, I look after the Timothy Oulton department in-store at Newcastle and have in-depth knowledge of the brand and its collections.
It’s a very cool brand with a modern-meets-vintage approach. Our department is filled with beautifully authentic, handcrafted furniture as well as some interesting vintage pieces – it really is an experience for the senses.
- What does a typical day look like for you?
A big part of the customer experience in the Timothy Oulton department is the sensory experience – and part of that is the smell. The brand has its own signature scent, ‘Santa Maria Novella’, and I start the day wetting the potpourri to invigorate its scent, then lighting the incense and walking it around the department, ensuring every corner smells fabulous!
After this I complete a display check, ensuring all products are displayed as they should be and greet customers to the section throughout the day – accompanying them where required and talking them through the various products and their stories.
- What do you love about your job?
I’m passionate about the Timothy Oulton brand and its products; it’s a total pleasure to work in such an exciting, creative environment.
Each piece has its own back story, which I love talking to customers about. Being an ambassador is a very immersive experience; I recently attended training at the Timothy Oulton European Headquarters in Amsterdam to learn about the new autumn collections, which was a great experience.
Every Timothy Oulton piece has its own back story – whether that’s the materials used or the inspiration behind it, so it’s really important to be able to explain this to customers, and I find each piece and its story fascinating.
For example, the Museum Coffee Table is inspired by the floors of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and is handcrafted from genuine English parquet flooring reclaimed from disused buildings in the UK.
- What’s your favourite piece of furniture right now?
It’s difficult to say as everything is incredible, but a particular favourite of mine is the Iris Table Lamp from the Glacier Dining collection; it’s inspired by the world of writer Jules Verne and his sci-fi masterpiece Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The Iris mimics the portholes of the submarine Nautilus, crafted by hand from iron and crystal. Just like Verne, the Iris traverses the past, the present and the unwritten future for creative, storied spaces.
- How do you spend your time when you’re not at work
I enjoy running and took part in my first Marathon earlier this year, but I also love to travel. I used to work on cruise ships which enabled me to travel extensively while working.
I have a giant world map at home in my spare room with pins to mark where I’ve been, but I’m always looking at where I can go next and am currently planning a trip to South Africa next year with my partner. I also hope to combine my love of running and travel by taking part in the Berlin and New York marathons sometime in the future!