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Launching Keith Melbourne

An ex-Launch Padder describes how the annual mentoring scheme secured his success.



BY jesse

April 8th, 2010


With Launch Pad just months away and entries closing soon, we decided to talk to Keith Melbourne, an ex-Launch Padder on how the annual mentoring scheme secured his success.

What attracted you to the Launch Pad competition?
 
Whether we like it or not, a profile as a product designer is an important factor influencing our ability to license our designs and get them into the marketplace.
 
Unfortunately this profile comes largely from the subsequent promotion of production products.
 
Launch Pad gave me the opportunity to profile myself and my designs to a large audience, and to make valuable contacts. Manufacturers were then more likely to be receptive to my approach.
 


pendant light keith melbourne

I do… pendant light

How did the mentoring program help you as a designer?

 
Lack of industry knowledge and contacts is a real limitation as a new designer. The Launch Pad mentoring program enabled me to meet a lot of knowledgeable industry people in one hit.
 
How did Launch Pad help launch you as a designer?
 
At Saturday In Design a couple of years I became aware of the fact that (some) people were aware of my name and my designs. People I had never met before. It was a strange but rewarding experience. Launch Pad and the associated publicity have definitely helped in building this profile.


light keith melbourne

I do… table light
 
How did the exposure help you realise your projects?
 
Launchpad 07 brought my I Do… table lights  to the attention of ISMobjects.The range now includes the I Do.. table light in large and small, pendant lights and wall lights, with more designs to come.


wall light keith melbourne

I do… wall light

Do you have any advice for young designers with a prototype?
 
Show it to manufacturers. In my experience manufacturers will not come and find you. Don’t think that because you’ve exhibited your prototype that manufacturers have seen it.

Even if they have they might not think to ask about manufacturing – find out who suitable manufacturers are, and go to visit them. It can be daunting.
 
Also make sure you follow-up. One meeting generally won’t do it. Don’t sit and wait for them to call. Be persistent, but don’t be a pest.


chair stool table keith melbourne

Coffee table from the Ellis Collection
 
What are you working on now?
 
I have been working develop a new commercial furniture collection called ’Ellis’, manufactured entirely in Melbourne, and I’m very pleased to have the support of Zenith as the national distributor.
 
I have a number of new lighting designs that I’m bringing to the market, and numerous furniture projects in progress. One of which may involve a long walk in the bush. I can say no more.

Keith Melbourne
kmelbourne@westnet.com.au

keith melbourne

Emma stools for Zenith

juliet keith melbourne

Juliet two-seater for Zenith


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