How can I be a furniture designer/maker?

I'm really wanting to get into furniture designing/making. I'm currently working as a graphic designer (and doing the odd bit of carpentry at the weekend). 

Any help would be really appreciated! 

— Jordan

Expert answers

Simon Hill's reply:

Hi Jordan,

That's a tricky question to answer without a little more information! But here are a few suggestions that I hope will help:

* Do you already have a number of your designs that you've made? If so, there are regularly small furniture-maker exhibitions around the country, so find one and see if you can get yourself exhibiting as well. It's a great way to meet people and gauge the market. However, these are more targeted at the higher end of the market.

* I'm presuming that you intend making the furniture yourself rather than just designing it and getting it made elsewhere. So if you want to avoid creating your own website or trying to sell into retail, you could always list some of your standard designs on a furniture marketplace website. They'll generate you sales and you'll need to pay them a commission. You'll probably see very few sales, but it's a good way to get started.

* I've presumed that you intend to have a core set of standard products that you sell. But if you mean you want to go fully bespoke and take custom orders/commissions from customers, then that's very different again. That's much more about making sure you have your own simple website that contains a gallery of lots of your past commissions and easy contact details and that you list the website in all the usual directories. If you're just starting out, include photos of anything you've made in the past. You can then add to these photos as and when new commissions start coming in.


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