Faodail Woodworks is a business built by a lovely artistic couple, Chris and Bex, who are 26, “though Chris feels 80 physically and 4 mentally.” They have been together for 3 and bit years now. Chris, from Dorking is a full time maker of Faodail woodworks products and Bex, from Hampshire is a Finance Manager for a merchant bank. Bex moved to Dorking in Surrey to be with Chris a while back. “It’s about a million times greener and nicer than where I was based before so our dogs love it too.”
“Faodail woodworks is new, honest, homegrown, challenging AND evolving business!!!”
How did you build Faodail Woodworks?
Bex : “In April this year Chris jumped straight in after deciding he would love to work for himself. After a year doing carpentry for a good friend he realised that he could build things for the house that were of better quality than the mass produced bits we were seeing in the shops.
With very little capital he found himself a workshop and began by making coffee tables. My background is in finance and project management but I love art and design so we have tried to play to each others strengths to build the foundations of a strong brand.”
What were your influences and who were your inspirations?
Chris : “My Dad works for the National Trust so I’ve always been around cool workshops, chainsaws and stuff like that, growing my love of wood as a medium. I was influenced initially by my friend Josh who put his neck on the line for me by taking me on to work for him in carpentry. He taught me quite a range of stuff right down to the basic things like just using tools properly and safely. Without him doing that I wouldn’t have even seen woodworking as a viable route. Bex has been the biggest driver of all this, I think I’d be living under a bridge somewhere if I didn’t have her. From initial product designs to setting up computer programs. Helping me, pushing me when its been tough right down to the tiny things like bringing me lunch at my workshop – she’s incredible.
I have loads of inspiring people in my life, a good friend of mine Ben set up a company called Oakdene Designs and he has just gone from strength to strength so he’s always been someone I’ve looked up to. Not to mention how much help he’s given me. My family have all supported me 100% but my biggest inspiration has been my Mum who passed away in 2013. Her work ethic, drive, outlook on life and just the way she treated people – she was the best person. She inspires me every day.”
Where would you like to see yourself taking your business?
Bex : “I love knowing that we are at the very beginning still, there are so many opportunities to improve what we are doing. Chris is keen to experiment with different materials and incorporate some bigger furniture pieces into our range.
Number one priority is to fine tune the production process and we think that once it is nailed we will have the head space to focus on new designs and start to think about different selling platforms.”
What makes you passionate about your business?
Bex : “Chris is really driven by the fact that he is entirely responsible for every work day, he couldn’t believe that people wanted to buy the items that he had made by hand and the fact that demands have increased has really kept him going through the tough early days of being a small startup business.”
Chris : “It’s also easy to be passionate when I have so many amazing people behind me. I couldn’t have done this without a lot of help along the way – I mean, Bex’s dad for believing in me and investing in the business, support from my family, advice from people when I needed it most, an amazing friend of the family deciding he wanted me to supply pieces for his catering business which I couldn’t believe and just people who have done little things here and there to get me where I am. It’s been a real collective effort.”
Where do you sell?
“Currently we sell exclusively online via Etsy.
Recently we setup a pop-up store in a friends shop and also sold directly to the public at the Etsy Christmas market which was so much fun.
We owe Etsy, it allowed us to start the business and suits our current needs perfectly.”
Have you got any other hobbies? What are they?
Bex : “Although there hasn’t been much time for it in the recent past Chris’s passions are biking, photography and filmmaking.
I finished my accountancy exams this year so have been hungry for new hobbies, I have picked up crochet and macrame and am always on the lookout for new things to try.
We both love being outdoors and enjoy a nice long walk in the woods with our pups.”
If you could be an animal, what would it be and why?
Chris : “Probably a sloth so I could finally get some rest.”
Bex : “Bird- because of flight”
What effect would you like your work to have on the world?
Chris : “I don’t feel that anything I do is groundbreaking enough to do that but down the line if I could make a few heirloom quality bits that stick around long after I’m forgotten about would be nice.
At the moment the aim is for every customer of ours to be happy with what they spend their money on.”
What makes you happy?
Bex & Chris: “Animals, watching our staffy carry a log bigger than her head around for an entire walk, rain, woods and Ben and Jerries Phish Food”
Share one of your biggest achievements.
Chris: “Making it this far with all my digits/limbs still attached. My workshop probably isn’t the safest place to be.”
An inspiring message you’d have for humanity.
“Always treat people how you would like to be treated, and treat animals even better.”
Anything more that you might have planned for the future, events, markets, upcoming promotions?
Chris : “Re-set a bit in the New Year, finally get my workshop where I want it to be so I can make more diverse pieces and just keep pushing forward learning new skills trying to make better quality things.
We’ll be doing some research into markets in the New Year so keep an eye on our social media so you can see where we’ll be at.”
Etsy : Faodailwoodworks
Facebook : Faodailwoodworks
instagram : faodail_woodworks