Rustic furniture with recycled, reclaimed materials has taken the UK by storm. Whereas ‘rustic’ can sometimes refer to furniture displaying a distinct lack of craftsmanship, this is clearly not the case for one inspiring woodwork designer and his crafts, which use a large amount of recycled materials – mainly English oak or old pallet wood. Am honoured to sneak 5 questions in with the designer himself! Read on.
Who: Christopher Berry
What: Sussex-based Home Accessories – rustic, retro furniture, interior decor, prints and posters
Where: Factory Twenty One, Unit 10 & 11, Alfriston Road, Berwick Court Farm (UK)
Started by Christopher Berry and inspired from a background of medieval furniture and a degree in furniture and product design, Christopher set out to create affordable, easily shipped and eco-friendly house-hold products.
“Factorytwentyone’s aim is to create original items, available to everyone. With a mix of traditional manufacturing techniques and modern processes, our collection of products ranges from lamp shades to coat hooks and clocks to key hook and mail organizers. You’re sure to enjoy the quality and playful side that goes with each design.”
5 QUESTIONS WITH CHRISTOPHER BERRY @ FACTORY TWENTY ONE
VJ: Why ETSY?
Etsy has been a fantastic opportunity to show and sell my designs around the world. There’s a lot of work that they put in on social media and through local etsy teams. It’s a real community and everyone’s keen to help each other. It’s free and there’s a low rate of commission charged on sales. This was perfect when facatorytwentyone started out and as we’ve grown we’ve seen etsy grow too.
VJ: How did you come up this idea for a business. Is this an interest/hobby?
I began working with my father doing Tudor, Elizabethan, & Georgian period replica furniture and at the same time studied furniture and product design at university. With an interest in modern design and the skills I had from work and university I decided to invest these in starting up factorytwentyone creating products that are inspired from my past.
VJ: What are some of the biggest challenges in setting up a business on Etsy? How did you overcome these challenges?
Looking back I would say getting together the right tools and machinery, and the space to put it together. Luckily I was fortunate that my father had this in place already. But this would be a large outlay for someone starting out. Also getting the products in front of the right people, this is where etsy has helped.
VJ: With so many online stores, was branding an issue in setting up on Etsy?
Not really. I wanted to do something different. I was keen to have a good brand but the most important thing was that the products spoke for the brand .
VJ: We’ll like to know more about the person behind your business!! Tell us more about yourself 🙂
Factorytwentyone is run by me so I’m involved with everything from accounting through to the manufacture and distribution. I love everything design and im consistently looking through blogs and magazines in my spare time reviewing trends and inspiration. To relax and refresh my mind I like to mountain bike, thankfully the workshop is at the base of the South Downs in Sussex.
Be sure to check out his workshop at Berwick Court Farm!