Creating and restoring furniture that is not only practical, comfortable and luxurious but also beautiful and contemporary, I like to think that my bespoke furniture is made with an artist’s’s eye for shape and colour, while created to traditional craftsman’s standards to withstand the rigours of time and regular use.
After I graduated from studying a textiles and fashion Higher National Diploma, I came to London and after a period in fashion retail I started a business making and selling “fashion/urban bicycle wear”, while trying to earn a living as a bicycle courier. My first attempt at starting a business inspired from that experience failed so badly it left me in serious debts, homeless and broke. However, at that point, what kicked this all off for me was when I was asked by a friend to restore a pair of chairs for her home. Although I didn’t at that time have a background in furniture repair & restoration, my friend knew she could rely on my former design experience and technical ability. I realised while working on the chairs how much I enjoyed “ripping down” and discovering how they were made, learning which materials could and should be used, that I could take my existing skills into a different area and hopefully picking up a good few new ones. So in September 2003, I made a decision to re-train from fashion and textile design to upholstery and soft furnishings, studying at London Metropolitan University. I found housing through a good friend who introduced me to Phoenix, a housing Co-operative. That foundation has given me some confidence however each step of the way I’m constantly being challenged and challenging myself.
Since graduating, I’ve completed a wide range of commissions for commercial and domestic clients from, often working alongside interior designers and architects, though to begin with, like many artists and designers, I had to take on part-time work to support my fledgling business while re-training.
During one period, working as a bartender, I was asked by the bar owner to collaborate with an architect on a large project to install bespoke seating in a new bar being opened in Shoreditch. After the success of completing my first commercial project I went on to produce “contract” upholstery for a growing number of bars, restaurants, clubs and galleries in my local area of east London, including … Cargo, Industry, Market place, Catch 22 and Bluu bar
In creating “contract” seating, I love the feeling of being able to transform a space completely. The challenge is to create something distinctive that can stand up to the wear and tear of London’s late night crowd and I have access to some great modern fabrics and designs. I love going out and socialising when I can, so it’s simple: I design and make the kind of seating I want to feel comfortable on when I’m out and about!
My studies in art & design, fashion & textiles and now upholstery have informed me greatly to every piece of furniture I (re)create. Beauty and functionality are always paramount. For me, design, production and creative flair are bound to a commitment to durability, quality and high standards of workmanship.
As well as slowly building my own collection of bespoke pieces , I love the creative challenge of restoring a beautiful piece of traditional furniture. Whether it’s recapturing its original feel or transforming it into something fresh and new. There’s nothing like the feeling that you’ve brought something beautiful from the past back to life.
Over the last 7 years I continue to develop a small but slowly expanding business. In November 2009 I was very fortunate to be offered a studio space within Container Futures in Bromley-By-Bow through through Bow Arts Trust. I have recently become an associate member of the Association of Master Upholsterers & Soft Furnishers with a hope to become a full member of the AMUSF within the next 3-5 years.