Buster and Punch celebrates 10 years in business

Handles and fittings specialist Buster and Punch celebrated its 10th anniversary in style with a special event at the Shoreditch Arts Club in London.

Retailers were invited to see the latest product from the company and also visit its nearby showroom in Charlotte Street.

Bathrooms are an area where Buster and Punch is starting to offer more products. New products on display included a new range of Cage bathroom lighting with sand cast back panel and Buster and Punch’s patented strip light bulb with a brass or gunmetal finish. The range is also suitable for use outdoors.

Also on show was a new Cast bathroom range offering a toilet roll holder and soap bottle holder. There will also be a new range of water-rated Cast handles in EPL coated stainless steel. At its nearby showroom, it also had on display a new vanity unit for the bathroom.

New also was the Chopper chair, based on a design pioneered by founder and creative director Massimo Minale’s father Marcello 50 years ago. The new version has a black chrome tubular frame and the black seat has straps underneath to adjust tension for the desired level of comfort. It is also stackable. Marcello Minale’s company also did work for Fendi, Armani and Harrods

Commenting on reaching the 10-year milestone, Massimo MInale told kbbreview: “It has gone quick and slow in equal measures. We are here to celebrate all the wins and the great stuff. There were hardships and struggles and perspiration, but it has been a joy. I have really enjoyed it.

“Coming from an architecture background, I have really enjoyed doing product design. The world is in constant flux and where we have done really well is that we have been a very original brand. We were the first ones to take these home fittings that were always forgotten about and reinvent the way they look, the way they feel, make them exciting and give them an energy that is unique. Because we were the first people to open up this home fittings sector it has helped. The hardships were growing a business.”

Minale recalled the journey to get Buster and Punch to where it is today: “Ten years ago, it was just me and some mates in a garage. We sold what we made to friends. Now we have 100+ employees and four offices around the world. Our biggest territory is North America. I think something resonates with them about what we do. They really appreciate the brand, its energy and the London association. And as there was in the UK and Europe 10 years ago, so it is now in America. They didn’t have nice light switches or door handles. So America is a big market for us, as is the UK and central Europe.”

Buster and Punch founder and creative director Massimo Minale

The brand has enjoyed high levels of growth. Minale told kbbreview: “We now have a great management team and we have built a great company with a lot of business-proficient people. We have been growing very well – bar the past year, it has been 40% to 50% year on year. Covid was good for us as it was for every interiors brand in the world. But everyone that did really well during Covid is struggling at the moment. But we are still in a period of growth this year.”

Buster and Punch launched its freestanding, modular kitchens in summer last year. Kbbreview asked how they have been doing.

“Sales have been good, but it has taken a while to get going,” Minale revealed. “It is a big investment for people and they need to see it and feel it, open the doors. We have been selling them in our stores, but now we are starting now to bring on a bunch of retailers to sell the kitchens.”

Looking to the future, Minale explained that smart products are an area they are currently looking at. “We are traditionally known for analogue switches and dimmers,” said Minale, “but we are moving into the smart world, but still with that great analogue feel that everyone likes. The problem with smart offerings today is that they work great but they look awful and they are plastic. It’s exactly the same challenge as the light switch was 10 years ago. Our plan is to overcome that and create a product that looks great and works great.”

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