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It all began with this little chair…

This is the story of how the business came to be launched and it all began with this little chair:

I adore this chair. For many, many years it belonged to my wonderful Grandma, Majorie Webb. I loved sitting in it as a child (I’ve always loved sitting down!). I can vividly remember curling up in it and being encompassed by it. It made me feel safe and comfortable.

I was gifted the chair on Grandma’s passing, I was honoured and grateful that she had clearly stated that it was to be given to me. It has since travelled with me from house to house and will do so until I leave it to the next generation.

She was of a time when people really looked after their possessions in an almost obsessive way. Hence the fact that the brown Draylon in which it is covered has lasted and lasted, actually for longer than I’ve been alive.

I decided that I needed to get rid of the outdated Draylon and have the chair re-upholstered. On finding out the cost of this I decided to pursue an upholstery course to learn how to do it myself. I still haven’t recovered the chair – it is still covered in the brown Draylon. But one thing led to another ….

Grandma's Chair

Starting my own business was not something I actually intended….. rather it happened organically….one idea snowballed into another and now here I am launching my own business.

Here is why..… this was to become the first chair I ever upholstered due to my needing an easy project to begin with. I loved doing the week long course and completed the chair in another evening class. It gave me immense satisfaction knowing that I had restored the chair back to its former glory with a new and updated look.

1st Upholstered Chair

I had been working in the home furnishings industry as a designer for over 7 years both at the high end and at the high street retail level.

Around this time I started pondering my future in the design world and decided that re-training to be an upholsterer was what I wanted to do. Decision made, I started a two day a week course at London Metropolitan University. I learnt how to upholster in the traditional and modern way and what followed were these two chairs:

2nd Upholstered Chair3rd Upholstered Chair

I learnt about all the materials that chairs were stuffed with and it made me question why foam was always used in modern upholstery……there are simply better materials that can be used. I have always loved fabric and am somewhat of a geek about it. So I designed my own fabric, had it printed and started using the chair as a canvas, turning it into something much bolder and exciting.

Whilst working as a designer at a large retail company I became acutely aware of how margins and big business can compromise design. As a designer I had always wanted to find ways to produce beautiful products that not only looked good but were also kinder to the environment. It has always seemed to me that fashion is a step ahead of the home furnishings industry when it comes to sustainable and ethical design. I felt that it was time to re-dress this balance. I believe that designers and product developers have a responsibility in a sense to question traditional methods of working, the materials that can be used and not to be afraid of challenging the status quo.

I began upholstering chairs using only sustainable materials. I found that materials such as animal hair and coconut fibre, mixed and held together with latex, could act like foam and that interliners that are made of wool can replace polyester wadding.  All these fibres pass fire retardant standards and can be returned to the ground. I started researching fabrics that had environmental credentials and could be printed on…..my research gave birth to a business idea which would blossom into a new home furnishing business.

This is how this little chair changed my life and inspired me to start my own business.

 

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