How to become a Handmade Furniture Maker

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: November 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Furniture makers (often referred to as cabinet makers) design and produce original and bespoke furniture such as chairs, cabinets, bookcases, desks and tables, using a variety of types of hardwood such as oak, ash, yew, maple, elm, African sapele, cherry and walnut. Some also use metal and plastic materials in furniture designs. They produce and sometimes also repair or restore furniture for both private residential and commercial properties such as offices, shops, and restaurants. Some specialise in traditional ecclesiastical furniture such as altars, while others create reproduction antique furniture, or specialise in contemporary designs. There are also opportunities for handmade furniture makers to export.

Furniture makers often retail the items they have produced at their workshop, online via their own website or through an online marketplace such as Notonthehighstreet or Amazon. Alternatively, they accept commissions on a contract basis, producing handmade furniture items for commercial customers, such as interior designers and their clients, for churches, and for the owners of country estates.

This profile provides information about starting up and trading as a furniture maker. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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