We make bespoke furniture…
… and we love it!
I am an Honours Design Graduate with over twelve years experience gained working within the head offices of top-end homewares retailers such as The Conran Shop, Conran Collection, Designer’s Guild and House of Fraser. In 2006 I embarked on a career in property development, then in 2011 I decided to put down some roots and lend the skills and expertise I had acquired to start my own Interior Design Consultancy… one of my Interior Design clients wanted an industrial look so I created some shelving, door handles, a staircase handrail and lighting fixture for her using reclaimed scaffolding plank and steel pipe and I then posted some photos of these pieces in my Etsy shop. People began asking if I could make them desks, dining tables, shelving and many other items in the same style, so basically from a couple of items, my portfolio increased week by week, as every time I got a commission I photographed it before I dispatched it and listed it as another product, the range grew organically. The demand for more complicated pieces of furniture grew so I took on more and more skilled staff and workshops… we now showcase a vast and varied range of products on our sales sites and this shows no sign of slowing down.
I graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2016 with a degree in Product Design. I’ve been working at Urban Grain since 2018 and I’m responsible for the design sketching, CAD development and technical drawings that we supply to our clients and our colleagues in production. Expressing yourself and working collaboratively with other designers and cabinet makers is integral to my role. I’m passionate about all areas of design, form and function, and have a great understanding of manufacture. Being involved with a diverse range of projects and the freedom that our clients provide us during the design process is brilliant for me.
I’ve always been very practical… I can turn my hands to most things and I love the variety of the work we do at UG… but in the main I take care of all of the steelwork. I really enjoy the engineering side of things and working out how to overcome the challenges we come up against as the designs get more and more complex. I learn something new every week and absolutely love it !
I have my own business and workshop in Leeds and have been collaborating with Carla and co. since early 2020 on the new collection of furniture, as well as producing many of the Urban Grain commissions. I’ve enjoyed working with the scaffolding boards… not what I’m used to at all, but it’s made an interesting change !
After leaving school I completed a modern apprenticeship in mechanical engineering. I then furthered my education by undertaking a part time degree in Manufacturing and Systems Engineering whilst working as a production engineer. I then left engineering to start my own business and return to the basis of becoming an engineer in the first place. Designing, making and working with my hands. This time in wood.
So I’m a self taught woodworker using my knowledge in engineering to achieve precision, quality, design and creativity in the process of shaping beautiful, functional and unique pieces of furniture and timber products. https://www.tom-maxwell.co.uk/
I just love sticks… so I hang around these guys because they seem to have a lot !! I also like barking at delivery drivers… so I guess I’m not a terribly useful member of the team… but I like to think I’m the best looking and I add a certain amount of authority !