Spotlight On:

Marc Wood Bespoke Joinery

It’s time for our favourite time of the month: Crafter in the Spotlight! This month, we approached Marc Wood Bespoke Joinery to take part as we simply love the handcrafted woodwork products that the craft business makes.

We started off the interview by asking Marc a little bit about who he is and what he does. He told us that he runs a small family-run business in South Somerset.

“Our high-quality furniture, picture frames and mirrors are all designed by me and handcrafted by myself and our small team in the Somerset workshop. We pride ourselves on using 100% natural wood in our projects.”

Marc has always enjoyed making things and studied Art and Design before becoming a surf shop manager in Devon.

“As an independent shop the display budget was tiny, so I began to make and fit it myself using old wooden pallets.”

“After a while this became one of my favourite parts of the job and I turned my hand to our VW camper van interior, with great success!”

“When my wife Rachel and decided to start a family and move to Somerset I retrained in joinery to put my furniture design ideas into practice.”

“At the time that we started the business, which is just over 6 years ago, I was making cabinets in the shed and Rachel was putting them online to see if anyone was interested in buying them.”

“There were sales almost immediately and we got great reviews and now we have a lovely farmhouse workshop and 3 other employees.”

One of the things that we really like about Marc Wood Bespoke Joinery is that they create lots of beautiful and unique wooden furniture, from cabinets and picture frames to storage and coffee tables.

When asked where the inspiration comes from, Marc told us that a lot of it comes from nature and the beautiful countryside and coastline where they live in South Somerset.

“For example, we make a tall coat and hat stand using recycled wooden coat hangers and the way that we place the hanger hooks reminds me of the branches of a tree.”

As well as coming up with his own ideas, Marc Wood Bespoke Joinery also offer designs that aren’t available in their shop. Customers often ask them to make picture frames for a particular artwork or a cabinet for an awkward space.

“Sometimes customers will come to us with a drawing and dimensions and sometimes it’s a vague idea of what they want. We will create anything that is asked for, as long as it is going to safely fulfil its function!”

“Rachel and I both have a background in retail, so we are always respectful to our customers. A lot of trades can be quite dismissive of ideas if they don’t follow the set way of doing things.”

“We will always think about how we can bring an idea to life and will suggest ways that we can make it work in practice.”

As mentioned earlier, many of the products that Marc makes are made from sustainable natural wood, which is extremely important to him and the business.

He told us: “We care about our environmental impact and we began with reclaimed wood from pallets.”

“Unfortunately, as our business grew, we just couldn’t source enough of this for all of our projects and so we moved to buying sustainably grown softwoods. However, we still look out for any second-hand timbers that we can reuse.”

The company also source materials locally and use recycled packaging to be as eco-friendly as possible.

“We are nature lovers and like to reduce our environmental impact and waste as much as possible, so we get our cardboard from local retailers. Our hardboard (used to protect the delicate mirror glass) is often waste from local suppliers who are happy for us to take it off their hands.”

When it comes to the joinery techniques that they use, Marc Wood Bespoke Joinery choose a traditional approach. He told us: “There are faster ways of making our furniture, but we don’t have a production line set up or huge machinery doing everything for us.”

“Instead we use hand tools as often as possible because we think that the furniture looks better and is better put together that way.”

“Everything is made to order and that gives us a lot of flexibility to offer a fuss free bespoke service for our customers.”

Away from work, Marc is a keen surfer and plays in a few bands with his friends, which is great “for relieving stress and unwinding your muscles!”

“My family and I like to go for nature walks with our Jack Russell and chill out at the beach or watching movies at home.”

In the future, we can expect to see exciting things from Marc and his team, and we can’t wait!

“We are hoping to invest in renewable energy for our workshop and to update our own website to enable direct sales.”

“I hope to be able to continue with less of a physical role as I get older and I would like more time to devote to my designs.”

We rounded up our brilliant interview with one last question: why is insurance is so important for craft businesses?

Marc said: “Once you find an insurance provider that works well for you it’s great to know that it is all taken care of.”

“If you are working with machinery, in people’s homes or have staff to look out for then it’s vital to be covered properly by a company that understands your business.”