Approximately 20-years ago whilst living in the UK I worked as a salesman in the print industry. At the time I saw sales as merely a source of generating finances to purchase properties. However, on reflection, this experience was much more valuable than I appreciated at the time. Essentially it gave me the opportunity to meet owners of success business and key players in the public sector. One great example that instantly comes to mind is a visit to Wedgewood factory in Stoke-on-Trent. I vividly remember a senior manager escorting me to a large empty warehouse and looking amused at the expression on my face. It took a few minutes for the penny to drop but then I realised they were no longer a manufacturer. In fact, the majority of their fine pottery products were now produced in China.
Even though manufacturing has significantly decreased in the UK there is still a lot of innovation. Recently I became aware of the company called Ruark Audio who specialise in the creation of high-quality speakers and music systems. The business (originally called Ruark Acoustics) was established by dynamic father/son team Brian and Alan O’Rourke. Organically the firm has grown over the years with the assistance of skilled designers and engineers. These talented individuals have built a wealth of knowledge, which has ensured the sustainability of Ruark in a highly competitive environment.
As a writer/author/designer, I naturally gravitate towards boutique brands like Ruark Audio. Even though their products are manufactured now in the Far East (rather than the UK) all of the design, testing, research, development etc. is conducted from their facilities in Southend-on-Sea, England. From recent conversations with enigmatic Sales Director Richard McKinney, I can clearly see what sets this company apart from larger corporate groups. For example, the staff are clearly passionate about their work and that is translated in the calibre of the products.
Over the last few years, Ruark Audio has evolved and developed products for a modern audience. However, the design integrity has remained the same and that is why consumers love the company. I love their integrated R4 and flagship R7 music systems because of the seamlessly blend modern technology with retro aesthetics. In particular, the use of materials like Walnut veneer is totally inspired. These are products that are designed to make a bold statement and for that reason appear in many architectural contemporary homes (featured in magazines, TV programmes etc.). It is also pertinent to mention this isn’t a case of style over substance as the sound quality is also absolutely exceptional.
For more information about Ruark Audio follow this link