Hello one and all, and welcome to a more personal insight to the Smithers Blog! I have finally prised myself away from workshop and entered back into my Man Cave to put pen to paper, and let you all a little bit further into starting my own business…
I suppose a good starting point would be at the beginning, so let’s go with that. Having grown my Smith family to the desired 2.4 children and after several necessary house moves later, I sat in my newly obtained boys room surrounded by furniture that looked as knackered as I felt! My immediate thought – I need new stuff.
I trawled the Internet looking for Vintage quirky furniture and cool boys toys that every man cave desired, but found nothing. Our latest house move was to an old farmhouse with bags of character and as many rooms as I’d had Lambrettas, so it needed to fit the bill.
I soon became bored with the endless suggestions of replica crap and mass produced tat that wouldn’t last five minutes with two adventurous kids and two boisterous dogs. I’ve always been a big believer in lifetime purchases and that you get what you pay for. I wanted solid stuff, vintage pieces with a eclectic twist.
I’m not exactly sure when the lightbulb moment occurred during my ‘grumpy git can’t find what I’m looking for’ rant, but thank Christ it did. If I couldn’t directly buy what I wanted, perhaps I could try and source it myself and sell it on to fellow men folk looking to fill their beloved bolt holes with top quality goods?! Why stop at the fellas?! In that moment, I was convinced I could get in touch with my feminine side also, and if not, then there was always Mrs Smith to lend a hand.
In between setting up home and running my long standing sash window company, I set about searching for World-wide suppliers who provided handmade furniture with a bit of an Cutting edge. I also looked at several Manufactures and Mrs S and myself even ventured to some small and intimate unique trade shows. Before long, we had a list of fabulous Manufactures we’d be happy to put our name to. A name? We didn’t have one. “Update May 2015 we not longer run the sash window company due to Smithers being so busy”
With a surname like ours and a nickname I’d held for years (along with a few others that aren’t for your ears!), it was only ever going to be Smithers, and with both of us being of Stamfordian origin – Smithers of Stamford was born.
I readily admit I have always carried a very distinctive style of my own, thanks to a love of Lambrettas, vintage toys, well cut clothes, too many hats and American house music, which I soon found was embedded in my catalogue of Smithers goods.
As luck would have it, our farmhouse outbuildings were big enough to convert to vintage industrial showrooms, so along with our all singing, all dancing website, we now had a super cool space to showcase our amazing products to customers.
Walls were bedecked in London Street name signs, neon stag heads and vintage mirrors. The centuries old floor space looked like it was made to carry Aviator desks, comic strip lacquered drawers and original drum art furniture.
As we stood back and gazed around with pride, without realising Smithers had become our third baby! There had been highs and lows, masses of worry and long knackering days but it was a labour of love and worth every god damn stitch!
The Oil Drum Art furniture were some of the first pieces to go into my Man Cave. My love of original paintwork and natural patina made this collection a dead cert for me.
The Industrial Drum Collection is definitely one of Smither’s favourite designs and something we will be focusing on again when the warmer weather arrives, as this range offers maximum versatility doubling up as great alfresco furniture.
Admittedly it wouldn’t look out of place on a sunny Jamaican beach, but we’re convinced the small drum art table will make a perfect outdoor planter when turned upside down and that the dining table and chairs will perk up any British patio this summer!
The Drum range really is individuality at its best. Antique and vintage oil drums are recycled to create this unique collection, so even though this is one of Smithers best sellers, you can guarantee not one piece is the same!
If you’re aiming for a nautical approach to your space, then the Drum Art Mirror with its porthole feel is the perfect addition for you. Equally, if your outdoor space is no bigger than a postage stamp, pop this quirky mirror on a garden wall to create an optical illusion of more space.
If a New York loft and fifty shades of you know what are more your bag, then Smithers recommends the cool sleek lines of the New York Loft Industrial chest of drawers – robust steel, panel beaten and perfect for hiding whatever your hearts desire.
Well, I’m hoping that gives a little insight into who we are, why we’re doing what we’re doing and what we can do for you.
Our blog will be with you on a monthly basis to keep you up to date with all that is Smithers and to help guide you towards creating the right look for your own vintage industrial space.
We have very quickly become one of the UK’s leading furniture retailers, for which we are humbly grateful and mainly put down to our determination to stand by all things brilliant and British, not to mention my excellent taste! Humour me, please.
This month, we are once again looking at several exciting new pieces, which I’m sure you’ll be hearing about in the not too distant future!
Until then my friends,