When Brian Rose, Founder & Host of talk show London Real, walked into Timothy Oulton Harrods, he was blown away by both the distinctive products and the unique store experience. After furnishing the London Real studio with his favourite pieces, Brian was intrigued to learn more about the Timothy Oulton story. He invited Tim on his show for an unedited hour long interview, for a more personal look at life, business and design.
Sharing Tim’s entrepreneurial spirit, Brian has been on his own inspiring journey. An American and former London City Banker, he left his accomplished banking career to pursue his passion of connecting people and telling their stories. He set up London Real, a weekly video talk show with over 40 million views that introduces you to the most fascinating people in the world.
For the past four years, Brian has interviewed over 250 people on London Real, from Hollywood actors to members of Parliament to CEOs of billion dollar companies. He is known for his uniquely authentic style of interview – unscripted and unedited.
Brian says: “We were having these incredible conversations with these amazing people and yet my set looked like a furniture back yard sale, it was very male fraternity house design. So we thought we really should step up our game.” In search of a new identity for the London Real set, Brian went looking for “a classic English gentleman’s vibe meets Shoreditch trendy cool”. London’s Shoreditch area, home to the studio, is known for its creative arty vibe, similar to New York’s East Village.
When Brian walked into Harrods and was “hit by Timothy Oulton” he found what he’d been looking for. The set has now been transformed, the two office chairs have been replaced with Mars MK3 chairs, which Brian says “have actually changed London Real” because they allow guests to recline, open up and be more relaxed. Industrial, military influences are present in the Blackhawk chest and side table, topped with a Gyro Crystal lamp, and the pile of Raleigh Spitfire trunks. Union Jack curtains hang like huge sails across the walls, vintage typewriters climb the bare bricks and a silver British Bulldog (whom Brian has named Winston) welcomes guests.
Brian remarks on the phenomenal effects of the changes: “Timothy taught me that your environment is such as important thing because it really contributes to the spirit and who you are, and how you entertain and interact with people… When guests arrive they’ll like wow, ok these guys are serious and this is special, this is a place I can open up, let go and tell the real truth about what’s happening.”
He goes on to say the ‘Timothy Oulton – Be Original’ episode “really means a lot to me because it’s who we are, and it’s part of our brand. The feel of me and the feel of our studio is shown in the space that you see this conversation take place.”
The frank and open discussion is, something that sits well with Tim’s straight-talking personality. As Tim highlights during the interview: “We have a reputation for being honest, there are very few people who won’t give us pretty high marks for integrity and that’s massively important for us. Trust is the foundation of our company, it’s all about partnership.”
Throughout the interview, Tim talks a lot about the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’, and the motivation and passion behind his unique way of doing things. “If we’re going to make stuff I want to make great stuff, and I want to make epic stuff, and I want it to come out and slap you in the face, to mean something. We don’t even see it as furniture, we see it beyond that.”
Watch the full interview now on London Real; the curator of people worth watching.