Developing a new career in furniture making & restoration

Furniture made by Ian Darroch on the furniture making course
Furniture made by Ian Darroch on the furniture making course

An interview with former Chippendale Furniture student Ian Darroch who now runs his own bespoke furniture making, woodworking and furniture restoration business.

After 20 years of service within the banking sector, Ian took a leap of faith and decided to pursue a career in furniture making and woodwork. Realising that he needed to develop his skill base to professional level he started to look for suitable training courses and facilities. Ian chose the Chippendale School of Furniture due primarily to its reputation, content and proximity to home – only one hour’s drive, so commutable for him.

“The Furniture School is in a spectacular location and the course was great. I absolutely loved the furniture restoration course and history of furniture modules. Our group of students was very sociable so we had a lot of fun.

“Early on I set up my own business, Louis James Furniture and Woodwork and even squeezed in some commissions while on the course. This helped pay for the course fees and more importantly develop my client base for when I qualified.

“Immediately after course completion, I built a 100 square meter workshop by my house in West Linton and invested in machinery to allow me to build my business.

Two very different chairs.
Two very different chairs.

“My business plan was relatively simple – 2 corporate clients and 10 commissions in year one. One year on and I’m pleased to say I’m well ahead of plan.”

Louis James Furniture specialises in creating high quality individual handmade furniture. Commissions range from basic kitchen tables to uniquely designed kitchens, and from desks to entire studies and libraries. I’ve also pursued the ‘woodworking’ side, especially with my corporate links which has resulted in items like exhibition stands – some appearing in the public eye at airports around the world!

“Ultimately I’m delighted I took the plunge; I see a lot more of my family, I’m working from home serving (in the main) my local community and involved in a huge variety of work.”

You can see more at www.louisjamesfurniture.co.uk or can contact Ian Darroch via info@louisjamesfurniture.co.uk.

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