As featured in the East Englian Daily Times (EADT)! View article online.
A Suffolk-based furniture maker has spoken of his excitement for 2018 as he continues to expand his woodcraft business with the development of a new ‘homewares’ range.
Until recently, Matt Rampley, who runs woodcraft business, ‘MR Woodcraft’, specialised exclusively in the design and build of handcrafted swings, tree swings and swing seats but has now expanded his range to include luxury homewares including chopping boards, cheese boards, pinch bowls and house signs.
The inclusion of the new range is the start of an exciting year for Matt, who is keen for his business to become the first choice for luxury wooden goods.
At only 22, it is an ambitious target for the former Stowmarket High School pupil, who runs his company from his workshop in Nedging, near Hadleigh. Running a company isn’t the typical career path for someone of his age, but it is a challenge that Matt freely admits that he enjoys.
“It can be quite daunting to run a business, but it is incredibly exciting. I’ve been working on this since 2015 and I’ve learnt a lot in a short space of time. I love the fact that every day is different; as well as focusing on building my products in my workshop, I also spend a lot of time responding to customer enquiries and designing new items to add to my online shop.”.
Matt’s passion for woodcraft developed when he was at school and after completing his A Levels, he knew that he wanted to continue using his design skills to produce bespoke wooden items. As part of his product range, Matt offers personalisation on all his items, and he says it can be amusing to find out the meanings behind some of the nicknames he’s asked to engrave.
“Unlike other companies, when my customers phone through, they don’t speak to a salesman, they speak directly with me, so I get to hear the stories behind the names and dates that are often engraved into my swings. I’ve not had any requests that have been too cheeky yet – but the business is still young!”.
“One of my favourites was a couple who bought a tree swing to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary because traditionally, five-year anniversaries should be celebrated with wood. It was lovely to know the meaning behind the date which was carved into the swing seat, and one of the best parts of my job is knowing that my products will make people smile.”
Whilst Matt has predominantly focused upon building up his public customer base, he has also had success with commercial projects, having recently supplied multiple tree swings to Microsoft for installation in their Reading office. Additionally, several of his tree swings have also featured in a number of national TV commercials.
Speaking about his corporate products he says it is flattering to see national companies gaining interest in his swings and this may be an area he looks at growing over the next few years.
“I want to grow the business as much as I can and in the future, this is definitely an area I want to explore. However, for this year, I’m going to be focusing on continuing to build my customer base and adding new products to the new homewares portfolio. There will be lots of new options coming soon including personalised toy boxes, coat stands, storage organisers etc so I’m excited to see it all come together. I love designing new products – taking a piece of raw material and turning it into something beautiful is what inspires me.”
As Matt continues to grow his business, one thing for sure is that he will be continually supported by his family and friends who often accompany him to trade shows. His dad often also provides additional help in the workshop during busy periods.
Matt concludes: “I definitely couldn’t run this business without their support. There’s a real family feel to the company and I’m really excited to see what 2018 brings!”
Matt’s luxury wooden homewares and tree swings, which are available in English Oak or Accoya, a highly sustainable timber, new to the market, can be purchased on his website, mrwoodcraft.com.
For further press information, please contact:
Amy Dawson, Director – PR & Events
Marley Bird Communications
Telephone: 07709 452081
Photo caption: Matt Rampley working in his workshop (Photo credit, Brian Tunbridge)