Meet Katie and Mikkel Sparrevohn

Founders of London and Surrey AV Solutions Ltd

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05/06/2020 | Katie Sparrevohn | Back to Blog
Can you tell us about your background and how you met?
Mikkel and I met whilst both working for a Danish construction company in London in 2000. I was working there in between university studies. I worked closely with the MD managing high-end large residential home technology projects and was given a huge amount of responsibility at a young age. I also learnt how to compile and submit large tenders for projects ranging from £½m - £3m. Mikkel had arrived in the UK looking for work as an electrician. Mikkel had studied in Copenhagen as an electrical engineer prior to leaving Denmark.

I continued to work at this company after I completed my Law degree. In 2003, Mikkel was offered the exciting opportunity to start his own electrical company and undertake all the electrical work for this builder as a subcontractor.

Mikkel and I became best friends whilst working together and in 2009 we became husband and wife! I left the Danish firm to work alongside Mikkel within his electrical business. Our client base was very niche at that time and the projects were large and complex. I learnt how to deliver exceptional service, the importance of attention to detail and how to manage large contracts in terms of pricing and accounting.

Mikkel is an expert in his field and hugely passionate about using technology to provide solutions and designing systems which will simplify and enhance the lives of our clients. We found that we worked well together and inspired each other. Although we are both creative, I provide the stability, detail, and structure whilst Mikkel has visionary ideas that push the boundaries of what is technologically possible!
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What motivated you to start London and Surrey AV Solutions?
We ran the electrical business for several years, and we were starting to carry out large residential Crestron and Home Technology projects during this time. We were slowly discovering a new passion - something which we found far more creatively rewarding that the electrical work we were accustomed to.

We decided to concentrate our business on smart home automation. We loved to create bespoke smart home solutions for clients, Mikkel has a contagious enthusiasm that is inspirational! Most of all we knew we could create a business that was open, honest, ethical, and fair. Working in this industry for so long makes you realise that some companies can take advantage of clients that do not have the same level of knowledge. We wanted to create a company that appeals to our values as a family – something that our three daughters could be proud of.
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What are the most important things to you as a company?
We want to deliver home technology solutions which simplify and enhance the lives of our clients. We want to be able to create robust and reliable systems which allow our clients to enjoy the time they spend at home rather than battle systems which do not work.

We ensure that we spend time with the client to understand their issues or requirements and only propose a solution which meets these needs. We do not over-specify or concentrate on single brands and ensure the solution is right for that client in terms of functionality and budget.

We are not motivated by the value of a single one-off contract but try to seek life-long relationships with clients which we achieve by providing 5* service and ongoing after-care.
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How are you different from other AV companies?
We live our core values in everything we do:

  • We are honest, open, ethical, and fair. We do not charge unnecessarily. For example, if a project was due to complete in 1yr and stretches to 2yrs we do not charge more labour unless our scope of work has increased. If you need a second demonstration or handover post completion we will of course come back free of charge.

  • We work together. We are strongest when we work as a team, creating successful working relationships based upon trust, respect, and kindness. This is so important to me and Mikkel.

  • We are passionate about delivering excellence. All our staff are very highly skilled, and we never use subcontractors - we have in-house engineers and programmers who have all worked for the company for many years. We value training highly and we ensure all staff have a personal development plan to ensure they continue to learn.

  • We solve problems innovatively. We are solutions driven so we never say no! We work in a tech industry so we refuse to believe that faced with a tricky problem, we cannot solve it with the tech solutions and expertise we have to hand.

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What are you most proud of at London and Surrey AV Solutions?
So many things! I am proud of our values that resonate throughout the whole company. All our staff work together as a team and the wealth of experience and skill we have here means that we always come up with innovative solutions. We have many repeat clients and recommendations which shows we must be doing things right!

The best part for me is when we hand over a project which we have been involved in since the consultancy stage and the client is over the moon with the end result. To me this demonstrates that we extracted the brief correctly and we delivered exactly what was required!

One important message that we try to communicate to staff and potential clients is that it is important for us to enjoy the time we spend at work or at home. Enjoying life by having a tech solution at home that works for you and your family. Or enjoying life when at work by creating a fun, challenging and innovative workplace! I love coming to the office every day and working with my team!
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What are you most passionate about with regards to Smart Home tech?
A Smart Home can simplify people’s lives by automating repetitive routines and releasing more time for them to enjoy other activities. We have three children and run a business so time for us is always precious. Simple solutions like an ‘all off’ button for the lighting at night or seamless network performance to allow us all to work and study from home are priceless to us and we want to share these solutions with our clients.
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