Harry Puts Photos in the Frame
WEST Somerset-based entrepreneur Harry Singer is heading for the high street with his innovative solution to displaying photographs. Harry’s passion for ‘real’ photographs and his frustration with the difficulties of putting them up on the walls of his Alcombe flat inspired him to come up with the Philib, which stands for Photo Liberation.
And the invention - a simple metal skeleton that snaps are pinned to with magnets - landed him a place on BBC1’s High Street Dreams in which successful fragrance and beauty products businesswoman Jo Malone helped put him on the road to success. Now 32-year-old Harry has just clinched a deal with top contemporary design store Heal’s, who will soon be stocking his invention.
Since the High Street Dreams show was broadcast in July, Harry - whose day job is working for his already successful family firm Singer Instruments in Roadwater - has been inundated with orders. “As I was watching the show with a group of friends it was unbelievably exciting because we simultaneously started seeing online orders coming in about 15 minutes after the start,” he said. “By the end of the show they were coming in thick and fast - we couldn’t believe it. I sold out of stock in two hours.”
The seed of Harry’s invention was germinated over a pint of cider in Dunster around two years ago as he bemoaned the difficulties of displaying his photographs. Harry, more used to designing robotic systems, received encouraging feedback from his brush with television fame with Jo Malone describing his product as “great and really unique.” And designer Ben de Lisi, who partnered Jo on the show, said he loved the frames. But Harry admitted that getting the business off the ground has been far from easy. “It’s been a massive learning curve and really hard work, which I hope will get millions of hostage photographs off computer hard-drives and out of shoe boxes and onto walls and eventually even create quite a few more local jobs. “However, I couldn’t have done it without the help of the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service, who have been amazing.”
The Philib frames will be on show - complete with photographs - in an exhibition in the Café Cream in The Avenue, Minehead, which runs until November 10.
[Great article, but shame the Free Press spelt Phlib wrong!!!]