Getting to Know you: Gary Martin, Founder & MD of Table Art

What do you currently do?
Table Art is currently in the process of recruiting international licence holders which will take Table Art worldwide. I am also working on developing our range with my technician – designing and creating innovative new lit table centres, furniture and displays for corporate events and awards ceremonies etc. The new technology will completely change the way events are lit.

What is your inspiration in business?
I am inspired by creating brand new designs and concepts for Table Art. I love seeing my ideas turn into reality and the reaction they receive. Technology is moving forward all the time and utilising it to make a dramatic impact on any event is truly inspiring. I want to create an internationally recognised brand that will improve the way events look worldwide.

Who do you admire?
I admire people such as, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and my own business partner Hilary Devey –individuals who really change things for the better by looking at and trying out brand new concepts.

Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
Whilst I have always worked for myself, I only started to study the principles of business at the age of 40. I think if I had gone along that path 10 years earlier it would have been an advantage. However, the technology of using a small battery to create a powerful enough light that could be remotely controlled effectively was not available sooner, so I have no regrets about how things have turned out.

My previous experience in the events industry gave me the knowledge I needed to make the table centres a success, so overall things have gone pretty well for me.

What defines your way of doing business?
Honesty and reliability have always been of the utmost importance to me when doing business. I believe I have built a reputation over the years that mean people trust me and are happy to deal with me. I also try to flexible and help people as much as I can – it is always good to be able to call someone for help if you need it!

I also think it is important to be enthusiastic and to be able to motivate those around you. I have a lot of energy and drive and like to inspire others around me to be the same way.

What advice would you give someone starting out?
Well I definitely believe in building a reliable and trustworthy reputation. In the long-run it will serve you well, and is far better than trying to make a quick buck! Caring about what you do and paying attention to even the smallest details will pay dividends.

It is also important not to take your eye off the ball. It is easy to get carried away with the next creative idea but you need to make sure you, or someone you trust, is watching the figures so that you don’t run into cash flow problems.