Esme Tearle – In Memoriam
Esme came into my life early in 2008. She was recommended for a position at Robert Langford by her friend Angus and arrived on my doorstep with multicoloured hair, Dame Edna style glasses and dressed like a 1950’s housewife who had just discovered punk.
I loved her immediately and she soon found her way into the hearts of our customers, suppliers and staff with her magic personality, great knowledge and kindness.
She was such an exciting and creative soul, from her work with the illustration collective, Heroes of Switzerland, her time with the punk ukulele band “The Pukes”, her own club night and her love for the dramatic, the sparkly, the glamorous and anything leopard print.
She was fiercely loyal and compassionate and taught me so much more than I could have ever taught her. They say that people come into your life for a reason, she was my first proper staff member but meant so much more than that to me. She was like a little rebel, punk sister and I miss her fiercely.
Rebecca “Becky” Markless – Production/Delivery
Becky came to us in a “part-time” capacity in 2009 while studying and soon proved that she was irreplaceable. She was persuaded to take on a permanent position and has been an important member of the management team for many years.
Becky looks after the production and smooth delivery of products to our customers, as well as quickly resolving any issues that come up in her wonderfully calm and logical way. She really is the reason we have such a good “after sales service” reputation.
She is also the team glue, arranging nights out, the Christmas party and never forgetting a birthday.
With all of these plates spinning merrily in the air, somehow, she also makes time to build her own brand of home wear, Markless Design www.marklessdesign.com that showcases her unique style.
When not working, she loves going to gigs, hanging out in Brockwell Park with Andy, her other half, and dogs, all dogs, any size and any age.
Anita Daley - Accounts
Anita joined us in early 2018) to run the finance department. Like an aromatherapy candle, Anita emits an air of calm and stability to the team and customers, just perfect for the person controlling the purse strings.
With her amazing attention to detail and her positive outlook, nothing is ever a problem, and we all go to her when we need that little boost of confidence to face a difficult day.
Anita is a very private person. An observer in the crowd, but don’t be fooled by this, she has another side to her personality, adorned with feathers and sequins, she proudly takes part in the Notting Hill Carnival every year.
Humberto Nunes - Sales
Hailing from Portugal, a very young Humberto arrived on our doorstep in 2013, and in broken English, told us that he was determined to join our sales team. Thank goodness he was so persistent! He’s now a vital part of our sales team with exceptional product and industry knowledge.
Humberto is based in Derby and looks after a selection of our existing customers as well as always looking to increase market share throughout the UK and Europe.
He is always full of smiles and, for a ‘Johnny Foreigner’, makes an excellent “cuppa”. The team love his monthly visits to the showroom and head office (mostly for the tea and constant supply of pastel de nata he arrives with).
Outside of the office, Humberto is devoted to his lovely lady, Joana who will be making an honest man of him in September 2019, and of course, Oscar, the wirehaired fox terrier who completes their family perfectly…for now.
Debbi Sunderland - Accounts
Debbi has the unique skill of asking people to part with their money in such a way that they are always happy to do so.
She looks after the company collections, and so much more. It’s always worth keeping her on your side, as she is the person choosing and dispatching your chocolate when an order is placed.
Outside of work, Debbi loves to read, especially a good “who dunnit” and the less we say about what happens when she gets hold of the karaoke mike the better.
Robert Knapp – Founder
I was born in South Africa and moved to London in 1999. I was lucky to gain experience working for two of the industry’s most respected brands: Andrew Martin and de Le Cuona, before founding Robert Langford in 2004. Langford, my middle name, is a family name on my late Mother’s (Joan) side. I’ve used it to honour her memory.
My passion is to make designers’ lives easier. It’s why I come to work in the morning. I am proud to say that every strand of the company DNA has been infused with that passion. I want Robert Langford to be known as the company designers can trust.
My inspirations are designers like the super stylish Bernie de Le Cuona to whom I owe so much. And of course, the remarkable David Hicks, whose books are always my first reference point when putting together new designs.
I am proud of my African heart and love to get home to South Africa as often as I can. There is nothing like the bush at dawn or the warmth of an African smile. It feeds my soul.
Beagles rule my life when I am not at work, I am devoted to my fur babies who I am sure you will all meet on Instagram and in product photography from time to time.
When I am not at work, you can find me tucked away in a house on a hill, deep in the suburbs of South West London with my partner Wayne and our pooches.
Christine James – Website
Those familiar with the company will recognise this name, Christine looked after the company finances for over 10 years, helping the company grow and was instrumental in developing the Robert Langford brand alongside Rob and the long-standing staff members.
She made the decision to retire from this role last year but we just can’t let her leave completely.
Christine will be taking up the important task of ensuring that the website is well maintained, up to date and delivering the very best to our customers from now on. It’s never been our strong point, and we are sure that her involvement with it will change our lives.
Christine has recently relocated to her beloved Dungeness on the Kent coast and when she isn’t making delicious preserves for her own business, Creative all Sorts ("like her" on Facebook or Instagram for the latest market dates), she likes writing, crafts and the fresh sea air.
Joanne Symonds -Production
Jo was recommended to us in 2014 by a good customer and we are forever grateful to them. Her astounding attention to detail fills our customers with the confidence that they can leave anything up to us and it will get done, just as if they were doing it themselves.
She is driven to make sure that our customers get the best service and is the moral compass when it comes to making decisions regarding an order if she says “take this back to the customer to check”, we always listen.
Outside of work, Jo and her Hubby David spend their time renovating their home in South East London, Jo also loves all things creative and spends time painting and is passionately interested in urban architecture.
Spencer Heather - Sales
Spencer popped into our lives just before Decorex in 2017. We needed someone with a big personality to look after our second stand and he ticked every box.
Spencer’s superpower is that he is both interested in and interesting to everyone he comes across, and he now charms our customers in the Kings Road showroom with his quick wit and winning smile.
He is building up a very loyal portfolio of customers who keep coming back for more of his unique brand of fabulousness.
He also keeps the team topped up with tea and titillating conversation.
Spencer adores all things Madonna, who we all think may be his older, less fabulous sister, and lives a happy life with his other half, Joel and their pooch in the “burbs” of South West London.
Simon Welch – MD
Self-confessed Star Wars Geek and lover of all things Gin based, Simon joined us in early 2018 to take on the day to day running of the engine that is Robert Langford. Fondly known as Mr Data by us all, he has been quick to steady the tiller and is learning more and more about this crazy industry every day.
He is currently overseeing the update of our business and finance systems and has identified so many areas that we need to focus on to grow more successfully.
Outside of work, family man Simon loves photography, travel and the music of the 1980s and beyond.
He can often be found attending gigs, rugby matches and is first in line to see anything science fiction based.
Philippa Gibson – Sales admin
Philippa joined us at the beginning of 2012 and is one of those unique team members that have experience in most departments, this makes her the perfect liaison between our sales and operations team. She is a “go to” person who always has the answer to any difficult question.
She has a wonderful pedigree in the design industry and knows and is known by so many people who value and love her style of “getting on with it”.
Outside of work, Philippa loves to “tramp the boards” and is always involved in the Interior Designers pantomime. She is a creative soul, who enjoys sculpture and painting.
Did we mention that she also always has a killer playlist on her phone, which is often to be heard in the showroom?
She likes nothing more than to travel to warmer climes and relax in the sunshine.
Sam Knight - Sales
Sam came to us in 2013 to fill a gap in the sales team and now we can’t imagine life without her. She can usually be found in the showroom, dishing out her unique brand of fabulousness and enriching the team and customers' lives with her kindness and generosity.
Sam is passionate about meeting and exceeding her customers’ expectations and is happiest when meeting with them in the showroom and helping them deliver on their clients’ dreams.
The rest of the team and our customers find her great knowledge about the collection invaluable. She is Robert’s “go to girl” for all matters involving grammar and spelling.
Away from Robert Langford, Sam loves the adventure of travelling to new locations as well as paging through the latest cookbook and trying out new recipes. Her cats take up much of her time. She tries to keep them off Instagram, but, you know….kids….!
Brendan – Delivery and warehouse
Brendan ensures that your delivery always arrives with a smile, a healthy slab of humour and a dash of Robert Langford magic.
He also looks after the warehouse for us, which is an uphill battle so we all take our hats off to him.
Brendan can often be found in the office with his gorgeous pooch, Sasha who is fast becoming the office sweetheart.
Outside of work, proud Grandpa Brendan is a keen musician, so don’t forget to ask him to sing you a song. He also loves all things to do with cars.
Michael – Delivery and Warehouse
Master of the practical joke Michael hails from the Czech Republic and joined us in December 2016.
He and Brendan are like Butch and the Sundance Kid, the dream team who ensure that your orders are delivered with style.
He is a complete petrol head and loves to travel. Recent travel highlights were a boys road trip across America and a 350km drive around the Cape Peninsula in South Africa in a Cobra open-topped sports car.
He and his partner, Adriana dote over their wonderful pooch Lexi.