A different kind of furniture
I recently discovered through the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, HM Treasury 2019 that flexibility is the #1 reason why women do start their own business. It was certainly one of mine, along with the fact that when I renovated properties, I struggled to find unique yet affordable interior pieces that complemented a room. This really frustrated me.
The UK was screaming out for a different kind of furniture as new builds, offices and homes all started looking very much the same. The market was beginning to demand functional furniture and accessories with a difference, quirky pieces that tell a story and stand the test of time.
Now, I design and create furniture and accessories, but not just any furniture and accessories, mine are niche industrial products created with love from a childhood passion for metal, wood and especially copper. I always knew this love of mine would develop into something more, you just know, don’t you?
Overcoming my fears
Women are 55% more likely than men to cite fear of going it alone as a primary reason for not starting a business. Fear stopped me for so long, going from full time salaried work as an employee, to taking the plunge and working for myself using materials, that dare I say, have been very much linked to male crafts and trades.
Women form the majority of the newly self-employed. To me they are taking control. Plus, there has never been a better time to set up your own business as markets yearn to support bespoke, local businesses that are true to their roots and values. People no longer want the faceless retail chains solely focused on sales and profits. It’s got to have more meaning and substance behind it.
All I can say now is “I wish I had done it sooner.” I hear so many others say this too, but sometimes we need those life experiences to give us that almighty push. It’s all about those steppingstones that lend themselves to one another and then come together for you. It’s all about being true to yourself and embracing your passions and life loves when the time is right for you. Just don’t leave it too late. Your happiness and presence come from within, so realise your power and act.
Today, there are almost 1.5 million self-employed women according to the RBS Group. This represents an increase of around 300,000 since before the economic downturn. I’m thrilled to be one of these 1.5 million women.
Get ready and expect the unexpected
I realised that I wanted to design and create interior pieces that complement and add to a room in a bespoke yet affordable way because I struggled to find these when I renovated properties myself. It was at this time my DIY skills were developing. To my surprise I was also reminded of my childhood passion for wood and metal. I pulled the pieces together to become a woman in business and created Brenmac.
Since, starting the business I never expected our furniture and accessories to take off so quickly as they did. I’ve barely had time to think, but as a woman in business I feel it is important to share my passion and experiences so far, in the hope that I can help inspire other women to look outside of the box and their comfort zones when looking to generate income that is rewarding, flexible and build on a true passion.
I’m very grateful. Brenmac designs is going from strength to strength in providing a range of handmade, bespoke industrial style metal and copper pipe furniture. Feeling grateful got me thinking about my journey so far, and as a female in business this makes me want to rise to the challenges that lay ahead even more than before.
Setting up a business that is true to you as a person is essential for success and growth, as it all comes very naturally with lots of hard work that feels so worthwhile. Your passion enables you to push the boundaries, to be innovative. It challenges norms and what’s expected of you, as well as challenging yourself in an enjoyable way.
Whilst remaining true to myself and my passion I wanted to make sure this was apparent throughout the hand crafted items that I create, hence the reason why I will only work with high quality wood, copper and steel to create unique pieces of furniture and accessories that have a contemporary finish.
I’m very fortunate that in creating something unique people regularly commission me to develop centre pieces to complement or make a room. I love nothing more than delving into a picture in someone’s imagination to give them exactly what they want and so much more.
The delighted look on the customers face when they see the finished piece provides me with everything I need to push for more.
Carving a niche is more than just woodwork
I’ve learnt so much along the way. Being niche, I thought was for the narrow minded but it’s the complete opposite, it’s this niche that carves out a little space within a market that’s perfect just for you in creating a unique offering.
Creating a niche is extremely difficult but very beneficial once you find your footing and pace picks up, but it does take time. My niche is industrial style furniture and accessories. I went full circle on this, but generally you do end up back at where you started with your initial thoughts. For now, I will continue to learn within my niche as it’s this mindset that has helped me develop as a person to in turn develop and grow my business. I focus on constant progression, taking the business to the next level always, and I do this by focusing on my business not what others are doing.
Our industrial styled products are inspired by our surroundings
Our surroundings inspire. Nestled in the beautiful foothills of Wales in a converted barn really helps. We also pull in inspiration from a wide range of influences across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – the traditions, landscapes and architecture that expose us to different textures and colours, and together combine into crafting something different for interior pieces that complement any room.
To see the delight on customers faces when I create a bespoke piece for them
is truly rewarding. Giving them that something different rather than a flat pack from Ikea means so much in helping them put their own stamp on interior design.
People yearn for individuality now where interior design comes into play, they want to be their own interior designer with boards on Pinterest and mood boards for rooms for considered colour schemes and materials that aren’t run of the mill, yet have a natural look and feel that exposes raw elements.
Hues of copper, rose and metallic colours add so much more and take on a character of their own through age, shades. An example here is copper and the patination of this that develops over time like the rings of tree trunk as it ages to create deeper threads of personality to a home following the trend for a very minimalist approach.
Where next for me, Eve Wilkinson and Brenmac Designs?
As we continue to grow and develop, we are always reassessing our goals, pushing the boundaries and looking to market trends, so that we can always be on point in our own little way.
Remember! Different is good, it’s what’s got us where we are today and it’s what keeps our customers coming back for more individual pieces of all shapes, sizes, materials and colours.
In many homes there is always that one spot that standard furniture and accessories just never seem to be right for. We overcome this with our bespoke pieces and your imagination to create the perfect statement piece or accessory that oozes personality.