Paul Stephens | Director
Paul has over 20 years experience managing contractors on fit-outs for the likes of Tesco and Bristol Airport. He's worked with us for over four years on major bar and restaurant projects nationally, giving us the benefit of his experience and particular strengths: his knowledge of construction processes and his ability to manage budgets.
Before adolescence, Paul was a boy soprano with such a powerful voice that, as a party piece, he could shatter wine-glasses with his top C. He'd just begun offering a cost-effective service to the NHS and BUPA - his voice could shatter kidney stones, too - when, sadly, his voice broke.
His lucky tuber is the yam.
Helen Blake | Creative Director
Cornwall-born Helen graduated from Falmouth School of Art and Design in 1989 and has over 20 years' experience in the design industry. She worked in London before returning to Cornwall in 1991 to run her own studio. Helen is a fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers, board director of the DBA and chaired The Cornwall Design Forum for 3 years.
If Helen was granted one superhero-power to use for a week she would choose the power of flight (or, if was cold out, the power to turn tapwater into Bollinger).
Her lucky biscuit is the fig roll.
Andrew Purnell | Designer
Andrew's packed plenty of wide-ranging experience into the last six or so years, both in-house and freelance. In his various roles he's worked for global names (Toshiba, Reebok, Absolut) as well as younger, cutting-edge new brands (Killer Tomato, Benji Boko, Glo).
Andrew's so keen on pot-holing he's checked his ancestry for any trace of miners, or moles. He'll happily spend the most of a weekend in cramped and watery dark spaces under Dartmoor, and, once a month, he volunteers for London Underground and chases mice off the tracks by shouting.
His lucky sugar is soft brown demerara..
Becky Sheppard | Designer
Becky has fifteen years of varied design experience, with particular expertise in art direction, brand management, typography, project management and exhibition design (in her previous role she designed large-scale exhibitions for subjects as diverse as Norman Parkinson and Leonardo da Vinci).
Becky's the UK's leading exponent of fruit sculpture. Her life-sized Take That, made from dried bananas, featured on The One Show; she's created a frieze for the British Museum using prune and plum stones, and she's currently working on a private commission to create a bust of Piers Morgan out of pomegranates and pulped mango.
Her lucky butterfly is the Painted Lady.
Bella Percy-Hughes | Designer
Bella comes to us with impressively comprehensive skills. Her design experience encompasses small businesses and large corporations; her skills include everything from iPad apps to brochures and exhibition display via videos, project co-ordination and mobile site development.
In her precious downtime, Bella runs one of the UK's largest ant farms. In some countries, ant milk is a delicacy. Milking takes excellent eyesight, a steady hand and the world's tiniest tweezers but, at Ł75 per ml, Bella's not complaining.
Her lucky sponge is Victoria.
Tom Bourne | Designer
Tom's a young graphic designer beginning to make his way in the business, and he comes to us a couple of years after graduating from University College Falmouth, since when he's developed a portfolio impressive enough for us to give him a desk and a Mac.
Owing to a genetic quirk, when Tom tries to whistle he produces the high-pitch buzz of a mosquito. His scores in junior sheepdog trials in his native Derbyshire were terrible, but he can have strangers slapping their own necks in minutes and clear a café terrace on the Med in no time at all.
His lucky cow is the Danish Red.
Liz Hasell | Project Assistant
Liz has been at Absolute since 2002; not long ago she switched from reception to working in the studio, where her role is to support the design team, making sure purchasing is competitive and deliveries on time.
Liz is one of only a few score people left worldwide who can speak the ancient Norse Bröskbrad dialect. They have reunions annually, but Liz no longer attends: the dialect is limited in scope, has 23 words for skirmish, 17 for brawl and habitually ends with the emergency services in attendance.
Her lucky tool is the lump-hammer.
Rachael Pashley | Interior designer
Rachel's been a very successful and award-winning designer, both freelance and in-house, in the eight years since she graduated from Falmouth College of Arts. She originally moved to Cornwall from Derbyshire and, after her degree, never went back.
Rachel's uncanny sixth sense has seen her barred from ever buying lottery tickets or scratch-cards. No High St or online bookmakers will take a wager from her, and she's been courted by the main political parties. At a live show last year, Rachel read Derren Brown's mind.
Her lucky pastry is rough puff.
Matt Hulme | Interior designer
Matt's an inventive, experienced interior designer who's worked for high street chains, 7 star Spa resorts, European hotels and on award-winning UK hotel renovations and redesigns. His expertise and creativity further boost our impressive Interiors team.
A freak childhood accident left Matt with the ability to read cats' minds. Turns out they don't do much thinking at all; they do have 17 words for 'no', however, and no equivalent at all of the concept of gratitude.
Matthew's lucky sugar is brown muscovado.
Ian White | Interior Designer
Ian moves to Cornwall and joins us after the best part of seven years with a top London consultancy, bringing with him a solid and impressive background of working on interiors for a host of up-scale high street names.
As a boy, Ian had a prize-winning Flea Circus, whose performers he'd trained on trapeze, high-wire and tiny musical instruments he crafted from pasta and house-dust. The whole troupe was destroyed in the great Dog-Shampoo Disaster of '91.
His lucky dynasty is Ming.
Nicholas Bunt | Architectural Technician
Nick joins our team with bags of experience of architecture, interiors and engineering, having been, variously, a senior draughtsman, site supervisor and freelance architectural technologist.
Nick's an all-time top Monopoly player, having won the South of England, All-England and UK titles between 2003 and 2011. Controversy clouded the World Championships in early 2012, however; he fought with an Australian over who was going to be the car, and accused the Japanese competitor of acquiring Vine Street without paying in full. His ban expires in 2016.
Nick's lucky crackers are cream
Eduardo Baquedano Sánchez | Architectural Technician
Eduardo comes to us from Spain via a first degree in Technical Architecture and a post-graduate specialism in sustainable construction and the environmental performance of buildings. He also speaks four languages (five, if you count Architecture).
Eduardo's from one of Spain's top hula-hooping families. At least one member has finished in the top six for the last 25 years. They'd have won more if their rivals - the Salazars of Bilbao - hadn't paid corrupt surgeons to replace key vertebrae with lumps of bendy rubber.
His lucky ink is invisible.