Spotlight

Wood You?

Can you believe it’s nearly February already? To kick start our 2018, we organised a Crafter in the Spotlight interview with Clive; the man behind vintage, upcycling and crafting workshop Wood You?

 

Wood You? was set up last year by Clive and with the help of his wife Maria. It is run from a huge, “still not big enough”, workshop in their garden.

As the name suggests, Clive makes lots of different handmade items from wood. This includes one-off pieces like clocks, hall stands, key rings and signs. He also “loves restoring furniture items that would otherwise end up at the tip.”

With any Crafter in the Spotlight, we are always eager to find out why the business was set up. Before Wood You?, Clive worked in engineering but found it an extremely stressful job which kept him away from home for long periods of time. “Maria is in poor health, so it wasn’t an ideal situation. When voluntary redundancy came along I jumped at the opportunity to turn my hobby into a business.”

As we mentioned earlier, Clive is extremely passionate about upcycling and restoring. We asked him how he became interested in these things and he told us; “I’ve often despaired when seeing people throwing perfectly good furniture away. Wood, REAL wood, should last a lifetime.”

“It is a beautiful material to work with and I find most things are fixable with a little engineer’s ingenuity! The joy comes from seeing the journey from start to finish. That, and the customer’s face when the commissioned piece is placed in its new home.”

If you look at any of Clive’s makes, you will notice that each one has its own unique and individual style. When asked where his inspiration comes from, he said; “There are some seriously talented makers and crafters out there! I like to connect on social media, Pinterest, and love programmes like Money for Nothing.”

“I was lucky enough to meet Norman from Just Jones Interiors. He gave me some old, rotten lumps of wood and challenged me to make something. My Chockablok Clock came from that. It was a reverential nod to his Blockwork Tables.”

What Clive really loves about his business is that he gets to make a wide variety of things, nothing is ever the same!  He “really like making things from scratch – the designing and engineering involved is all encompassing.”

In many cases he will need to think about how to give old and worn furniture character and style. “By adding things in like USB charging docks, access for electrical cables, etc, we are ensuring the piece is future proof and ready for another lifetime of use.”

One of Clive’s “little indulgences” is when he is asked to create unique, one-off creations for his customers. The reason behind this is that he loves repurposing, “like turning old milk churns into storage stools, or repurposing a vintage camera and tripod into a lamp!”

“Modern LED lighting has opened up a world of opportunities. Who doesn’t want a remote control, multi-coloured lamp made from a beautifully engineered piece of vintage history?!”

As well as using social media to gain exposure for his business, Clive also attends events like Made in Ramsgate. We asked how they help and he told us; “These are great events, they are very informal. You can admire other people’s work and sit and chat over coffee with potential buyers. Getting the brand recognised is very important, as is being approachable.”

But for Clive, life isn’t just about Wood You? He also loves photography and told us that they are “lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of Kent and the landscapes are truly beautiful.”

In the future, we can expect to see Wood You at a new Collective market, which will be taking place in Dover from March onwards. “We’ll be there every month with all manner of other stalls… all of Kent’s finest!”

But it doesn’t stop there. Clive hopes that in 2018, they will “make more of a name” for themselves and “push some of the old design boundaries a little.”

Our final question before we let Clive get back to his work was why he chose CraftCover over any other insurance provider. He said; “We liked how simple it was to get a policy that was tailored to our business and our budget.”

“We already knew the CraftCover name from social media and the company seemed friendly and approachable. And you were!”

The CraftCover team would like to say a big thank you to Clive from Wood You? for taking part in our Crafter in the Spotlight. We are looking forward to seeing what you get up to in the near and distant future!

If you would like to find out more about the business, head over to their Facebook or Twitter.