Ulster Carpets have a proven track record of creating custom designed carpets for the world’s leading cruise lines. Combining the artistry of designers with a patented weaving system, they can offer unlimited design possibilities without the need for a repeating pattern. Their IMO certified 80/20 Axminster carpets use only the highest quality, responsibly sourced wool to ensure a luxurious finish throughout the carpet’s lifetime. Ulster’s vertically integrated approach means that they control every aspect of the manufacturing process to deliver projects on time and ensure their carpets are sustainable, serviceable and practical.

Today, we’re meeting their Marine Sales Manager – Chris Colvin!

Tell me about about your role with the company..
I am the lead commercial contact for all of our clients in the Marine industry.  Essentially, I coordinate with all areas within each project, from Buyers, specifiers to the installation teams on site.

What has been your favourite project to work on?
Fred Olsen’s MS Bolette.  This was a project we completed during the peak of COVID within the UK.  The designs turned out to be really daring and certainly have left an impression with the consumer.  So it was really fun to see this development from pen and paper to carpet on the floor

Do you have an industry insight you can share or a fun fact about the sector you work in?
If you are a customer and you need some material and not sure where best to source it, reach out to your suppliers – as we are part of a community we have good connections and will be able to help, even if it’s not related to our product.

What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?
Really proud of Ulster’s foresight to maintain our manufacturing base within the UK.  Amidst all the troubles with supply chains across the world at the moment – maintaining this control locally has been strategically really important for us to ensure we can react flexibly.

What do you like about CSI+?
The networking opportunities have been fantastic with CSI+, having access to many of the cruise line staff and decision makers in what can be a more informal environment has been great to get to know our clients better in a more relaxed way.  

What do you love about the Cruise Interiors industry?
I think the niche nature of the market means that the community tends to be a close-knit group of designers, suppliers and customers.  Which is great as you get to know people well as you tend to collaborate on more over multiple projects.

What are you looking forward to in 2022 or what are you hoping to achieve?
The highlight for this year will certainly be the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America in Miami.  We exhibited at the European show in London and we are hoping to continue this momentum into the summer now that many of the travel restrictions have been lifted.  It will be great to catch up with friends and partners over a cocktail at Miami Beach!

Here’s our quick-fire Q&A to get to know Chris just that little bit better!

What was your first ever job? How did you get into this industry?
First job ever was working on a movie set in Belfast.  Northern Ireland has a burgeoning Movie and TV Industry, but my role was not so glamorous.  I worked as a labourer to help construct a set on top of a mountain close to the city, to ensure a horse and carriage to ride safely across.  4 weeks work for a 60 shot in a film!  It was a physical job outdoors but fascinating to see all the components that go on “behind the scenes”.

What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?
The lockdown periods over the past couple of years were great to learn some new cooking techniques.  I acquired a new BBQ and have been slowly improving my low and slow brisket.  Could happily spend a few hours at the weekend basting and chilling out in the garden with a beer.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I have been at Ulster Carpets for 6 years now, half of that time has now been spent with the Cruise Industry.  Before that I worked at an engineering company whilst living in New Zealand.  Beautiful country and being such a long distance, allowed for a number of stops on the way.  If you are thinking of going there, I will happily help with your itinerary.

Best best concert you’ve ever been to?
Red Hot Chilli Peppers came to Belfast a few years ago.  Despite the rain, the atmosphere was fantastic and they are great performers!.

Favourite film?
I have recently seen the new Batman film with Robert Pattinson, surprisingly good with a more Crime/detective angle than just a purely action movie.  Well worth a watch!

What’s would be your 3 course meal of choice with a drink?
Chowder to start. For main, I have always wanted to try a Wagyu steak.  Dessert – I am obsessed with anything Biscoff based at the moment.

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself or something we don’t know? Any hidden talents?!
You may see me at the CSI Expo in Miami wearing a moon boot.  And no, I haven’t changed careers to work at Space X.  A recent injury picked up playing rugby for my local rugby club.  We play most Saturdays and it has been a good way to travel around Ireland, as we play in a national league.  I may be out of action for a while so now I’m looking for a new hobby!

Thank you Chris. I can certainly get onboard with ‘anything Biscoff!’. Really good point with your industry insight there too. Our suppliers are so knowledgeable and always willing to help which makes this community so brilliant.

We look forward to seeing Chris and his Moonboot in Miami!!

You can connect with Chris on LinkedIn HERE.
And follow Ulster Carpets for the latest updates HERE.