Toby Howes Furniture

Capitalising on the demand for top-end British design

Company: Toby Howes Furniture
Founder: Toby Howes
Proposition: Fine design, fine furniture, made by hand
Website: www.tobyhowesfurniture.co.uk

Toby Howes, a graduate in ecology from Kings College London, took a new direction in 2007 when he started to make bespoke furniture of his own design. Since then, he has received many individual commissions from the UK and overseas.

Lateral thinking is key to Howe’s creative process, which involves combining ideas from many sources to create unique pieces. The business has grown organically and is now based in a well-equipped workshop in Bristol, and Howe is in growing demand from high-end cabinet makers and interior design consultancies looking to outsource veneering and other specialised techniques, in which he has made his name.

The trick, he says, is keeping the balance between this work and the high profile, but lower-margin, commissions he loves to do. He believes that the influx of visitors this summer will give his business a boost, by placing a spotlight on high-end, British design and helping to generate commissions for one-off pieces.

“For me, the focus on UK design and the kick up the backside we hope the Olympics will give to the economy will definitely help my business. Despite the recession, the top end of the economy is doing very well.”

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