Eleanor visited the NEC Furniture Show last week to meet some new (and old) furniture suppliers. Here she updates us on her day with Donna, our head interior designer…
On Tuesday, Donna and I braved the fog and the M1 and headed down to the NEC to The Furniture Show which gave us chance to switch role and be the customers for the day – which made a nice change!
There was a definite buzz as we entered the great big halls full of amazing stands – it is mind blowing to consider the scale of the work that has gone into to creating this pop up city that will last just a few days! However much I was keen to enjoy a cup of tea and marvel at the sights, Donna was (as usual!) on mission….
First stop a wonderful new furniture supplier that Donna had met last year. They are a husband and wife team based in Nottinghamshire and fit the first of our criteria for new suppliers – they are nice people to work with (we have already parted company with another furniture supplier for not meeting that criteria!). They are able to supply us with a comprehensive range of chairs and sofas beautifully made with our client’s own choice of fabric (OK so our designers will probably have helped them with this!), within a very reasonable timescale. So, we placed an order for some display pieces for our showroom and are looking forward to selecting the fabrics for them next week. We already work with one fantastic upholsterer from the Long Eaton Guild so now we feel confident that we have a really good furniture offering across all the styles and price points.
The next stops were unplanned catch ups with some of fabric suppliers that we happened to pass en-route. Isle Mill is one of our newest fabric suppliers and it was great to be able to see some of the fabulous fabrics from our new books hanging up in large pieces. We also stopped to talk to the team at Swaffer who have this week announced a management buy out – another small company with values similar to ours and something a bit different to offer. We are really looking forward to developing our business with them over the coming months and years – and we couldn’t resist buying the books of the their new ranges which are stunning and really versatile to get us started!
By then it was lunch time (not usually a recognised event in life at Furnish & Fettle – but I for one was flagging a little!) before moving onto the task of choosing new one off pieces for the showroom – otherwise known as industrial shopping! We placed orders with most of usual suppliers for quick delivery as we are low on stock following a busy Christmas and the sale, and also found a couple of new ones – watch this space, we have some fab thing coming over the next couple of weeks! One clever company inspired us by adding prosecco – and strangely our order with them kept on growing…..