Flare Fires is a family business, founded by Torrey Hilton.
“It all started way back when real men wore flared jeans and tie dyed t-shirts. I was working at a children’s holiday camp and noticed that the moment you lit an outdoor fire everybody wanted to be your friend, or was it that they wanted to get warm? Those magical nights sitting around a blazing fire, cooking sausages and looking up at the stars etched unforgettable memories in my mind. The romance of the flame, the sound of cracking wood, the fragrance of fire. It creates an amazing ambience. It kind’a feels like life slows down and gets really real. Relationships flourish and conversations get honest. I dun’o – maybe it’s just the way we were created to be.”
When we shifted from the camp to the Wairarapa an outdoor fire/barbeque was first on the list. It wasn’t the prettiest I’ll admit but it worked. It was a bit of a different story when we later moved to Upper Hutt. I said to my wife, “Honey, I’m gonna make another outdoor fire and it will be better than the last one.” Her reply was gentle but direct. “Does it have to look like a shoe box?” Susan is an artist so you kind of expected that. I said, “Ok you design the lines, I know how I want it to function. Boom – the Tuscany Premier was born. We knew she got it right because when the neighbours came over, they instantly wanted one, and so the story begins.
I never really started out with the view to creating a business. I just wanted a fire that did everything well and met our growing family’s needs. But as we built fireplaces for others, each unit was a litte more refined in its functionality and appeal. Then the penny dropped, if this is what WE want, there must be a lot of people out there just like us.
The shift to Tauranga was a pivotal time. It put us in the centre of the population and provided us with an opportunity to do some extensive research and development. We started selling one fireplace per month, then two and now on a good week we can do 10-15. We own our own factory and have a fabulous team. “We’ve come a long way from those early days when Nathan and I started out in an old cowshed pad in Upper Hutt.