Maker&Son: Furniture that is natural, sustainable, beautiful — and very, very comfortable

When Alex Willcock and his son Felix Conran established Maker&Son, they aimed to create truly comfortable furniture, handmade from only natural materials to last a lifetime.
The father and son team have combined their experience to bring together locally sourced materials and traditional craftsmanship; making the process of buying luxury furniture as enjoyable and effortless as possible.

How did your shared experiences create the foundation for Maker&Son?

We decided from the outset to be ourselves and create a business that reflected who we are, what we love doing and doing so with the people that we loved.

Why do you think families are at the heart of so many successful businesses?

At the heart of all the successful businesses that I know is a clear sense of purpose, a reason to exist, trust of each other and a set of shared values that define what the business and team are all about. Families that share values, a sense of purpose and trust therefore have embedded within them some of the core traits to make a business successful. It takes a lot more than this though for a family to be able to work successfully together!

What do you do differently?

We are changing the way luxury furniture is designed, manufactured and sold while providing exceptional levels of service throughout the entire process. We decided to bring this change and lead by example. We design and make everything we sell and we market directly to our customers. Maker&Son is only available through Maker&Son. We make our furniture locally to where we sell and where possible, from locally-sourced natural materials.

More and more people are interested in buying things that are made locally — from natural sustainably sourced materials that will last a lifetime or more. The challenge most people face is that products with these qualities are often expensive and scarce. Luxury furniture, when sold through retail stores often adds significantly to the retail price. The compromise retailers invariably make is to reduce the quality of the product to bring it to an ‘affordable price’. It seemed to us that there had to be a way to sell luxury furniture and home products without retail stores and then pass on the benefit of the reduced costs to the customer with a significantly better quality product at the same time.

How do you create furniture with the capacity to last for generations?  

By design; namely, we make our furniture by hand in a traditional way, with high quality materials. Every detail is very carefully considered with longevity at the heart of the creation of each piece

Why are natural materials at the heart of what you do? 

Almost all upholstered furniture across the world, whether at a high or low price, contains lots of manmade materials. Some of them are particularly unpleasant such as polyether foam which is used extensively and is highly toxic. For us, the future has to be about making products that are sustainably sourced and sustainably made. Natural materials are therefore the only way forward.

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