We interviewed Jorge Cortés, manager, sales and production manager of the company ILEXPA, a factory specialized in the manufacture of lighting for contract projects created in 1979.
What can ILEXPA offer to the interior designer or architect doing a hotel renovation or directly to the hotelier?
JC: Ilexpa Custom Lighting offers its clients (architects, interior designers and designers) the possibility to manufacture any decorative lighting fixture needed for their project.
From the first consultation our know how, achieved through many years of manufacturing, is put into action to create the best possible lighting.
Hotel Thompson, Madrid.
Designers Penelope and Tena. Wall light for hallway composed of a directional lens which illuminates the number of the room with an angle of 60 degrees.
How is your collaboration with interior designers and architects? How do you manage the projects? project management?
JC: The collaboration is very direct and we usually do it in three steps:
Step 1: The client sends us his designs and informs us of the heights, where they will be located, the space he wants to illuminate, the type of light, the type of lighting, etc.
Step 2: With this information we make a budget and if it is approved, we make a 3D rendering of each model with technical drawings that are sent to the client for validation.
Step 3: We make a real sample for formal acceptance in the pilot room.
The best example of relationship we have with a client is that of Beltá Frajumar, in recent years we have cooperated side by side in projects such as:
DORMIR DCINE (Alicante) and Hotel Termas de Canet where we have manufactured wall sconces in all rooms. ISLANTILLA GOLF RESORT developing and manufacturing suspended lamps of great dimension.
Nastura Restaurant, Oviedo.
Design Hazard Estudios. Restaurant of 2000 meters for which we have manufactured two crosses of 4 x 6 m whose perimeter we installed RGB led strip and with directional spotlights in the central bars.
What's new at ILEXPA this year, and are there any star products?
JC: We don’t have a product catalog because we make what the customer needs, that’s why we say that our models are infinite.
Our goal in the current market is to be recognized as a good manufacturer and for this our improvement has to be in our facilities and in our machinery. In this sense, this year we have acquired a CNC milling machine capable of cutting pvc, wood veneer, methacrylate as well as engraving and folding. This gives us more independence and agility when it comes to meet the urgencies and needs of our customers.
What added value does ILEXPA bring to the hotel sector?
JC: The lamp is a fundamental factor in the decoration of any space, ILEXPA offers the possibility for our customers to have a factory at their disposal to create their decorative luminaire models, as well as a team of professionals who will advise them and help them solve any inconvenience that may arise during the work.
Uppery Club, Málaga.
Designers Monica Gorrini and Fernanda Aguilar. Custom made lighting for Uppery Club in Malaga.
How has ILEXPA adapted to the world of Contract projects?
JC: During the COVID pandemic, we realized that a new market opportunity was opening up for Spanish manufacturers after the rise in shipping freight rates. We decided to offer other brands the possibility of manufacturing part of their catalog and storing a “prudent” stock of their articles in our facilities.
We carried out this line and today we are very happy. Our customers are reassured because we can at any time decrease or increase the stock of their products according to their sales and we, after two years, are able to ensure that this new production line does not affect our Contract line.
I have to add that we are proud to say that we have managed to deliver a lot of products in less than 24-48 working hours.
What are the markets in which ILEXPA is most present or the distribution channels recently opened?
JC: We can be found in online channels, Contract and professional lighting stores.
What advantages do you think the current economic situation can offer us?
JC: The advantage of the euro-dollar parity and the rise in freight rates could be an economic opportunity for Spain to once again boost its industrial capacity, which we have lost over the last 20 years.
In Spain, SMEs account for 99.8% of companies, represent just over 62% of Gross Value Added (GVA) and 66% of total business employment. With the current situation we can improve these numbers, craftsmanship must return to the way it was 25 years ago.
What trends and changes are you seeing in the hotel sector in recent years?
JC: Sustainability above all has become a key ingredient for any new proposal. Whether it is through the materials, the way they are manufactured, their durability. Sustainability is here to stay.
What is ILEXPA's opinion of the InterCIDEC initiative as a platform for between interior designers, manufacturers and hoteliers?
JC: A great idea that, if I am not mistaken, will be seven years since it was created and has established itself as a platform of opportunities for all of us who are part of the contract world.
For us as artisans it is a pride to support the INTERCIDEC awards of Belta Frajumar that adds up to improve the quality of our tourism sector, fundamental in the Spanish GDP.