Wherever you are in the world, you will have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis – I just hope that you and those close to you are safe and well.
I wasn’t quite sure what the crisis would mean for our business but I was conscious that we were in a more fortunate position than many. Sure enough, things were very quiet when the first lockdown was declared here in the UK, but it did give me an opportunity to reflect. I even spent some time in the workshop, helping to craft our furniture, which I rarely get the chance to do normally.
As makers of bespoke, hand-crafted furniture, it also struck me that it would be nice to broaden the accessibility of our work. So I began thinking about launching a series of limited-edition collections of furniture and accessories, in a variety of materials and sizes. This is something I hope to roll out later this year and, from discussions I’ve had with some of you out there, I think the collections will be of interest both to existing clients and new ones.
Having a quieter spell also gave me time to think about our website, which had been neglected because we’d been so busy, and needed a complete relaunch. By late spring, business picked up significantly, but we kept chipping away at ideas for the website in the background.
Commissions flowed in as the world got used to this strange new way of living, including several creations in the style of Sir Edwin Lutyens, such as the Delhi occasional table (pictured), and work for the beautiful NED Hotel in London (also pictured). The only major issues for us were not being able to meet up with our clients face to face, not being able to travel overseas and occasional delays in obtaining materials from suppliers. But like everyone else, including our clients and associates, we became adept at Zoom meetings and the communication remained as good as ever.
And now here we are at the end of January 2021. We’ve had an extraordinary month – our busiest January in years. We hope that’s a good sign, not just for us but for all who we work for and with. And for us, it’s a perfect time to unveil our new site. It looks a lot better and provides a much greater insight into what we can do and why people love our furniture.
In particular, I’d point you to the portfolio section, which provides a glimpse into the wonderful homes of some of our clients, explaining why they commissioned bespoke furniture from us, and showing the finished result. We’ll be updating this section from time to time, and keeping you up to speed with what’s happening at 1718 with regular blogs like this.
In the meantime, I wish you all the very best for the year ahead.