A company which specialises in selling an eclectic mix of furniture and homeware made out of salvaged materials such as old Jeeps and tractors has caught the imagination of TV producers and attracted celebrity clients.
Smithers of Stamford, based in Etton, was founded by 46-year-old father-of-two Nick Smith and wife Kim three years ago.
The business, which sells products including oil drum stools, jam jar pendant lights, vintage station clocks and a life-size Tardis replica, is set to feature in future episodes of BBC1’s Money for Nothing junk makeover programme.
Via its website and social media presence, Smithers has built-up a high-profile list of wealthy customers – including Hollywood actress Kristen Stewart, ex-professional footballer Djibril Cissé and Torchwood star John Barrowman – keen to get their hands on its quirky products.
Nick, who was born and raised in Stamford, decided to launch the business after struggling to find good quality designer furniture on the High Street.
He said: “I’ve always loved retro clothing, old Lambrettas and the eclectic markets of Carnaby Street and Brick Lane.
“But when looking for quality retro items to furnish my own home I struggled and thought there was a market there to tap into. Most of our furniture is handmade in India – although we do have craftsmen in the UK too – and shipped over here to us.
“The website has attracted a lot of attention and the business has grown a lot in the past three years.”
Djibril Cissé, a French striker who played for Liverpool, Auxerre and Lazio among other clubs before retiring last year, has bought several items from Smithers – including a leather armchair with Batman print, and a chest of drawers with a similar design.
Kristen – famous for starring in the hugely successful Twilight saga – bought a leather aviator office chair and John Barrowman has purchased a number of salvaged tin-plate robots.
The company also has a number of clients in New York and the Middle East, particularly Abu Dhabi, where reclaimed furniture is soaring in popularity. Shipping a £1,500 desk out to the country adds another £1,000 to the bill – but it’s a price wealthy buyers are willing to pay for the right items.
Nick and Kim, who have two children, live in a listed farmhouse next to Etton’s church. On June 4 and 5, between 10am and 4pm, they and colleague Emma Smith are hosting a two-day pop-up sale, with plenty of bargains on offer.
Nick was approached to appear in the BBC’s Money For Nothing after producers spotted his company on Twitter.
He has filmed a number of pieces to camera advising craftsmen and women about the saleability of their work.
The show is currently screened on BBC One on weekday afternoons and the best 10 episodes will soon be shown an in a new evening slot.
For more information, visit www.smithersofstamford.com