Celebrating International Women’s Day
To celebrate International Women's Day, we're once again looking at some of the incredible roles women here at Whitemeadow hold, some of which you might not expect! Today we're talking to Whitemeadow's only female HGV Driver, Louise Price.
What made you get into the role you currently work in?
I started at Whitemeadow in 2014 after I decided I wanted a career change. I completed an aptitude test which resulted in recommending me as a Transport Clerk. Someone asked, ‘Would you not prefer to be a driver instead’? to which I answered, ‘yes actually I would!” I like the freedom this role offers me, being out on the road and talking to people is what I love doing.
What was your background before you started at Whitemeadow?
I studied catering at college and worked as a chef all my life until 2014!
Were people surprised to see a female HGV Driver?
Not at Whitemeadow, no. However, my fellow drivers at truck stops were! My first time on nights I remember all the male drivers taking a step back and being really shocked at seeing a woman pulling up! I even had to use a men’s toilet because there were no ladies’ facilities!
What challenges did you face when you first started and how did you overcome them?
For me it was all about learning the job because it was such a career change for me. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to move and get furniture off the back of a lorry safely! So, from a physical perspective that was quite challenging. But there were always people around to help and I’m not shy at asking for help when needed!
What changes have you seen over your time here with regards to the workforce and attitudes towards women?
I can say honestly that I’ve had a positive experience from the beginning, I’m treated really well. I feel my co-workers have always respected me and I have always felt accepted here. I have learned to stand my ground when I felt I needed to, and the customers treat me like a rock star! And there are toilets for women everywhere now which is good!
What are your future aspirations regarding your team and your role here?
I just want to continue as I am, I have no plans to move anywhere. I love my boss and my job, and I don’t want to do anything else. If more women wanted to do what I do then that’s great!
What advice would you give to women and girls that would like to work in a male-dominated role?
I would say don’t be scared to give it a go and that you need to have a positive attitude and be a ‘half full glass’ type of person. You never know what pleasures any day will bring!
Growing Talent at Whitemeadow
In recognition of National Careers Week, Whitemeadow are proud to support a number of initiatives, both industry-wide and as an employer, to encourage more people into the upholstery industry. From sponsoring School Design Prizes in local schools to offering year-long placements to Product Design university students, we are committed to developing talent at all ages.
As an Investors in People accredited employer, one initiative we are particular proud of is the establishment of our very own in-house Sewing School. Launched in 2019, it was designed to help fill the skills gap in Sewing Machinists in the local area and find the next generation of skilled upholstery Sewing Machinists. All participants receive on-the-job training in all aspects of sewing fabrics required to make our range of sofas and other furniture. The course is a combination of formal and informal training which leads to a L2 Qualification. So far we have successfully trained 10 machinists who now work full time in our production sites.
The course is led by Mandy Harper, Apprentice Programme Manager. She currently has 7 apprentices with 7 new recruits starting on March 1st. Mandy comments "The main aim of my role is to offer high quality on-the-job training which is essential for the manufacturing of quality domestic upholstered furniture. I am responsible for the development and performance of all the apprentices and the main point of contact for Webs Training Ltd, our outside educational provider".
Following the success of the Sewing School, we are very excited to be launching our Upholstery School later in 2021. Recruits will be trained in everything from attaching padding and springs to building furniture using loose fibre fillings, cotton, felt and foam padding.
And as a further demonstration to our commitment to developing talent, we will shortly be launching a new Careers Hub on our website, offering advice and insight into working in the upholstery industry.
WHITEMEADOW OPEN HOUSE EVENT
Whitemeadow are preparing to open their head office showroom for the month of February to invite trade customers to view their brand-new collections in a safe and organised environment. This will be the first major ‘Open House’ event the company have held and have begun an ambitious renovation of their head office showroom in Sutton in Ashfield in preparation for the occasion.
Sales Director, Daniel Oscroft, commented: “Our Showroom has become a hugely important space to present new products to our customers. We saw an opportunity to make it even more inspiring, by having the space transformed into what we believe will be the best in-house showroom in our industry. Construction is already underway, and once complete this will be a dynamic and vibrant showroom environment that we are confident our customers will be impressed with. We can’t wait to see customers again and are looking forward to what we are sure will be a challenging, but also exciting, 2021”.
Managing Director, Ian Oscroft, added: “This will be the first opportunity for many of our customers to come and view new products since January last year, and having spoken to many of them already, we can see there is a massive appetite to get out there again and see new products. However, we recognise this will have to be done in a responsible and organised manner, therefore our Open House event will be by appointment-only. Customers will be able to spend a couple of hours with their sales manager, have a coffee and make the most of having dedicated time with the team, which we know can be a little difficult at big trade shows”.
To make an appointment, please contact your Whitemeadow Sales Manager.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A TRADE EVENT ONLY.
Sir Terence Conran
As many of you will be aware, this weekend saw the sad passing of design pioneer Sir Terence Conran.
His death has been justifiably covered in the national press, and much has been written about his long and illustrious career.
As the founder of Habitat, the Design Museum and The Conran Shop, he introduced the British public to such things as flat-pack furniture, paper lanterns, duvets, espresso machines and woks.
We could write a lot about the life and times of Sir Terence Conran but restoring British manufacturing greatness through the power of design was a particular ambition of his that we at Whitemeadow are familiar with.
We have been extremely proud over the last three years to manufacture upholstery in his name and contribute in some way to fulfil his legacy of bringing modern design to a wider market.
As the great man himself once said, “Home is the heart of life. Home is where we feel at ease, where we belong, where we can create surroundings that reflect our tastes and pleasures. Making a home is a form of creativity open to everyone”.
Sir Terence Conran, we thank you for everything you have done for the British Design industry, and we salute you!
From everyone here at Whitemeadow.
Whitemeadow voted the Best UK Furniture Manufacturer 2020
We are extremely proud and excited to announce that Whitemeadow have won the Interiors Monthly Award for Best UK Furniture Manufacturer for 2020! This is the third year in a row we have been recognised. The awards are voted for by our customers, so it is therefore a fantastic achievement to win this award.
Managing Director Ian Oscroft commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this accolade for the third year running. It is absolute testament to the hard work and dedication of every Whitemeadow employee, all of whom, no matter what their role, have helped make us one
of the consistently best and leading manufacturers in the country. We continue to push boundaries in all areas of upholstery design and manufacture and this award shows our customers both appreciate and recognise this.”
Celebrating Our Apprentices
Back in February, to recognise National Apprenticeship Week, we launched our very first Apprentice of the Year Competition.
Apprenticeships have moved on from what they used to be and are an exciting option for both apprentice and employer. You can now employ apprentices at all different levels, from school leavers to people that want to further their careers or change career direction completely. An apprentice can be aged 16 or 100 plus! Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way for our organisation to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
As a Company, Whitemeadow wanted to take this opportunity to promote the success of their own apprentices. The Apprentice of the Year Competition was launched in February and was open to all apprentices working for Whitemeadow, whilst working towards a Modern Upholsterer Level 2 qualification.
The competition recognised the outstanding achievements by an apprentice who has been working at Whitemeadow, whilst working towards a qualification, and entrants were judged on their work in the calendar year of 2019. Judges looked for evidence of the commitment the apprentice has shown to their role, to their own development and why they have stood out as one to watch in future.
We are delighted to announce the winner of the competition is Wioletta Bepirszcz!
Joseph Bryan, Upholstery Training Officer at Webs Training Ltd commented “It’s very difficult as there are a few apprentices at Whitemeadow that I would put forward however I would highly recommend Wioletta Bepirszcz. Her commitment to the course has been fantastic, the work she has submitted for each module has been produced to a great standard and always on time despite her commitments at home. Wioletta is the heart and soul of the group and I believe everyone in the group would agree.”
A huge well done also to runner up Monika Bramorska. Mandy Harper, Sewing School Trainer commented “Monika has always given 100% commitment to her role as an apprentice whilst at the Sewing School. She is an enthusiastic member and is eager to learn and always takes a pride in her work”.
Preparing for the Christmas Rush
Market trends show that customers are looking for pieces of furniture that offer storage and style, as well as function. Having already earned a reputation for excellence in manufacturing high quality sofas and upholstered beds, Whitemeadow is proud to be able to cater to all demands with a range of multi-purpose furniture.
This time of year sees people preparing to welcome friends and family over in the next few months, especially with so many not being able to do so earlier in the year. We expect to see a higher than usual demand for sofa beds, storage stools and additional seats to accommodate the extra guests that have been missing in our homes for much of this year.
With many homes restricted in size, many people are trying to make the most of their available space. Multi-functional furniture is a God-send at this time of year, so it’s worth investing now in sofa bed displays in time for the Christmas rush.
Below are a few of our multi-use heroes!
Mikki and Kitty Bed Stools:
Brand new this year are our Mikki and Kitty Bed Stools! When used as stools they are handy for an extra seat or table to put a tray of drinks on, but when opened up they turn into a handy single bed for the overnight stay! Available in a huge array of fabrics, make sure you order yours now in time to display in store for the Christmas rush!
Maison Sofa Bed
The Maison sofa bed is based on inviting proportions and a super comfortable sit. It’s clean and contemporary shape exudes a feel of comfortable, modern living, that is versatile enough for most living spaces. The range includes several sofa bed options, which can be upgraded to include an exclusive Hypnos sofa bed mattress, a first for the brand.
Brixton Ottoman bed
For those wanting to invest in a new bed, either for the guest room or themselves, the Brixton Ottoman bed frame is a great choice. The Brixton is one of our bestselling bed frames, distinctive and bold in nature, it creates a super soft, luxurious and inviting look. And with the added storage, its perfect for any bedroom.
Many of our upholstery and bed ranges come with an optional storage or accent stools. At this time of year they will double up as extra seats, places to store bags and coats and even make-shift side tables. Make sure you have one on display with your sofas and beds, as our research suggests up to 50% of customers will buy an accent piece when displayed with the sofa or bed of their choice.
Please note, that with pent-up demand at an all time high, we advise you to get any pre-Christmas orders in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Speak to your sales manager today if you are looking to refresh your displays in time for Christmas.
How to Boost Sales Through Social Media
Social media is a cheap and easy way to get your name out there and stay in touch with customers. With an estimated 42 million people using social media in the UK alone, it’s an opportunity you can’t miss.
During lock down, we’ve seen our own Instagram engagement increase by 147% on this time last year!
Here’s some of our best tips for taking social media by storm!
Make the most of every channel
Often, businesses will pick one social media channel and stick to it. But it’s best to be present on as many channels as you can manage, that way you are reaching more of your audience.
We recommend starting with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. As you learn what content your audience likes to see, you can also expand to other channels such as Pinterest. We find that visual platforms like Instagram result in the most engagement.
Top tip: try to use the same username on each channel so it’s easier for customers to find you.
Once you have decided which channels to use, it’s time to start posting regularly. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to post all the time, but you do have to post often enough that your customers can see you’re active.
Try to aim for once a day, but if you’re struggling for time or content ideas, 2 or 3 times a week is enough to stay on your customers’ minds.
While social media can be used to promote your products, it’s important to have a balance in what you’re posting to keep your content varied and interesting. Try to provide value to your followers, this can be through home décor tips, inspiration for their own homes or, if you can, hold competitions and give exclusive social media discounts.
Keep in touch
Social media is a two-way street, so it’s just as important for you to interact with your customers as it is for them to interact with you. Make sure you’re replying to comments, liking similar posts and resharing posts you get tagged in. This will help to build trust in your followers and helps to push your posts to the top of the feed. And don't forget to ask permission to re-post your customer's images of your products. We've been blown away by some of our customer's images!
Sell directly through social media
We’ve noticed a number of our customers taking advantage of developments such as ‘Instagram Shopping’. These functions provide an easy and simple way for customers to buy products through direct links to your website. When someone taps a product tag on your post or a product sticker in your story, they'll be taken to a product description page where they will see an image of the product from your post, a description of the product, how much the product costs and a link that takes them directly to your website, where they can purchase the product.
If you found this helpful, be sure to check out our Marketing agency, Purpose Media’s website for lots more tips to get back on track in the new normal.
INSPIRE YOUR CUSTOMERS WITH STYLISH IN-STORE DISPLAYS
Creating an inviting and inspiring store experience has perhaps never been so important as it is currently. Furniture stores are having to compete with online competition, plus overcoming obstacles to tempt customers back through the door in a safe way.
Once you’ve managed to get customers back in store, it is vital that they not only feel safe to shop, but to also to create an engaging shopping experience through your product displays.
Through our many years of experience of working with a large variety of premium independent retailers- from small boutiques to larger independent groups, we have found that the key to successful repeat orders on both our upholstery and bed frame collections is to understand the importance of dressing room sets to create impact and inspiration. It is essential that displays are presented in a way that enhances the products as much as possible. We have seen that customers who understand this concept and practice it successfully, see strong week on week repeat business from consumers, and that up to 50% of consumers will buy an accent piece of furniture such as a footstool or chair if it is displayed with a sofa or bed they are looking to buy. With figures like this, is this an opportunity that you can afford to miss?
Whitemeadow are proud to be able to support our independent customers by providing a wide range of accent chairs, footstools and ottomans- available in over 100 fabrics to contrast or match the main upholstery piece or bed frame on display. Be sure to familiarise yourself with our new September price list when you receive it, as it will include details of new accent pieces. We have also made the decision process easier for you by now adding the accent pieces into specific collections.
Obviously, displaying ottomans and chaises with beds, and accent chairs and footstools displayed with sofas work really well with consumers as it’s easy for them to picture how they can work with the space they have at home. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box if you also sell other home departments ranges. Why not add an accent chair to a bathroom display or a child’s bedroom room set? Our range of accent furniture include versatile companion pieces that can be used to compliment any room’s décor, including living rooms, studies, hallways, adults’ and kids’ bedrooms or even bathrooms.
From stylish compact boutique chairs to large cosy cuddlers, we have a wide variety of chairs in all shapes and sizes, with a choice of wooden leg finishes, castors, or sleek chrome legs.
And our range of storage stools and ottomans not only provide a practical storage solution for children’s toys, magazines and general clutter, but they can also compliment a room’s décor to make a home individual.
Contact your sales manager today to find our more about our accent pieces, or log in to our trade area on the Whitemeadow website.
Creating an engaging in-store shopping experience
We’ve seen and heard a lot from our customers in the last 25 years. Our sales team has travelled the length and breadth of the country hundreds of times and are proud to have developed an in-depth understanding of our customers.
Over this time, we have noticed a few traits that seem to make some retailers stand out and be more successful than others.
Here, we share some of those secrets to success from our experienced sales and marketing teams:
- Retailers who have sales staff with a flair for - and an understanding of- interiors, are often the most confident in talking to customers, and are often the most successful at selling. Staff that are trained with some basic styling skills have more confidence to engage with the customer, boosting sales and loyalty. That extra level of advice ensures the customer has an amazing experience instead of just being sold to. Make sure your staff are asking the right questions about the customers lifestyle too, it’s no good trying to sell a high-end, design-led sofa to someone who is looking for a slouchy, family style sofa instead. Know your market and your customer.
- Ensure the customer has a good in-store experience. They will leave the store feeling like they’ve been looked after and feel good throughout the day in the knowledge that they have been offered the right advice for them.
- Too many stores end up looking bland in an effort to cater to everyone, but not really inspiring anyone. Make sure you have an exciting window display to entice people in, and refresh it, often! A lack of colour or interest in-store results in nothing standing out. Even if it’s displaying a product in a fabric that is quite bold, you have to be visually exciting to get customers attention. It’s all about being aspirational and engaging.
- It goes without saying but once a customer is through the door, you want to keep them in there until they have either bought something or have taken away enough information to return and make a purchase soon. Retailers that have a clear, uncluttered floor, not too many promotional notices and staff that are friendly always seem to do better than those that have cluttered floors with pushy sales staff and a plethora of ‘SALE’ signs everywhere.
- For those that have the space, styling and ‘zoning’ areas appears to be a great way of story telling in stores. You often find a consumer will buy several pieces from the display, such as a lamp and a rug, as well as the sofa, because they have ’bought into’ that look and want to re-create it in their own home.
So don’t just sell to your customers, inspire them! If you want any specific advice on how to refresh your displays, please don’t hesitate to call your sales manager who will be happy to help.
How to Use Digital Marketing to Boost Sales
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen lots of retailers re-open as lockdown measures have eased.
Customers may be returning to physical stores, but an online presence has never been more important. Internet use has skyrocketed through the lockdown with many consumers relying on online research before they go into a physical store, and also to make purchases online instead of visiting a store altogether.
To keep up with this change, it’s crucial for independent retailers to ensure their online presence is up to standard to get the customers through the door, or to enable them to make a purchase directly online.
Let’s take a look at how you can improve your online presence…
Digital marketing is a little more complex than social media and often requires a small budget, but don’t let that put you off! Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach new customers and it’s easier than many people think.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool from Google that allows you to promote your website on Google Search and Maps. This service is a great way to target local customers and makes it much easier for your customers to find you when they search for businesses near them.
All you have to do to get started is set up a Google My Business account and fill out the relevant fields. From there you add your website, phone number, pictures and lots more.
Optimise your website
Optimise might sound scary but there are lots of simple ways to make sure your website is doing the right things to get to the top of the search results.
Start by looking through your website and make sure it’s easy to find your products, after all that’s what the customer is there to find. You can also make sure all the pictures used on your website are good quality and the content is well written throughout the site.
If you want to take it a step further and learn some more in-depth digital marketing techniques, you can take advantage of Google’s free online courses on Google Digital Garage.
These courses are filled with tips and techniques for small businesses to get started in the world of digital marketing without having to put aside a big budget.
Need more help?
If you found this helpful, be sure to check out our marketing agency, Purpose Media’s website for lots more tips to get back on track in the new normal.
Covid-19 Update for customers
First and foremost, we hope you and your families are safe and well.
We are pleased to confirm that we have now returned to limited manufacturing.
We have put in place following the Government guidance new measures and working practices to maintain Social Distancing and provided additional PPE to ensure all staff are kept safe and well whilst at work. We can confirm we have complied with the governments guidance on managing the risk of Covid-19 by putting in place the following:
- We have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment and shared the results with the people who work here
- We have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance
- We have taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home
- We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace
- Where people cannot be 2m apart, we have done everything practical to manage transmission risk
Our priority always remains the health and wellbeing of our staff.
We have retained excellent relationships with our trusted suppliers throughout the last few months and this has ensured we have received quick continued supply on our return.
To begin, our return to manufacturing has been done on a staggered basis at a vastly reduced capacity. During this period, our lead times will be extended outside of the ‘norm’. We will be providing weekly updates via email regarding lead times.
We are endeavouring to work through the current outstanding order book in an efficient manner and to support us in doing this, we ask that requests for specific orders to be expedited are avoided.
Please also note that we have new delivery procedures in place which you should have been notified about via email.
If you do need to get in touch with us please email firstname.lastname@example.org but please bear in mind we only have limited staff available and response times may be slower than usual.
If you are a consumer and have an order placed with one of our retail partners, please wait to hear from the retailer regarding delivery times as our support team are only able to assist our retail partners.
Pause in Production
The Health and Safety of Whitemeadow staff is of the utmost importance and the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) has made us only more attuned to this.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, our manufacturing units and offices will be CLOSED from 5.00pm today, Tuesday (24.03.2020). This is a temporary and precautionary measure until such time as our Government make reassurances that retail stores and warehouses can resume operating and maintain safe environments.
In line with the Government’s announcement this will initially be for a 3-week period and will be continually monitored and reviewed in line with Government advice and our customers’ responses to this.
During our time of closure, we will have a skeleton team of colleagues working from home. If you have any urgent concerns, please contact us via the email email@example.com.
Please bear in mind that there may be some delay in response and these colleagues will have limitations in their ability to perform all of our usual operational functions.
Please be assured that we are closely monitoring all information provided by Public Health England and the Government and shall look forward to reopening, as soon as we are able.
We value the trust and loyalty you place in Whitemeadow and would like to thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.
Our thoughts at this time are with all those affected by Covid-19 and our gratitude goes to the people who are working tirelessly to care for them.
Please stay safe. We wish you well.
From all at Whitemeadow
WE WILL BE BACK
Women at Whitemeadow
Celebrating International Women's Day this weekend made us think about some of the fantastic women we have working here at Whitemeadow. As a manufacturer, we're dedicated to offering equal opportunities to all genders and helping women excel in our industry. Often working in roles that are typically male-dominated, we're taking a closer look at some of the women of Whitemeadow and the role they play in our business.
First up is Wendy Brown, Production Manager at one of manufacturing sites in Nottinghamshire.
What made you get into the role you currently work in?
I started at Whitemeadow 10 years ago in the role that’s is now known as a Coordinator (I believe I was the first one doing this at Export) then I worked my way up to a Supervisor, so being a Manager felt like natural progression.
What was your background before you started at Whitemeadow?
I was a machinist from leaving school- starting on lingerie, then car seats and finally sofas at Derwent upholstery, which is now Parker Knoll.
Were people in the factory surprised to have a female boss?
No, I don’t believe they were surprised that I was their boss, I think at that stage I’d been at the company long enough doing the Supervisor role that people kind of expected it.
What challenges did you face when you first started and how did you overcome them?
We already had a great team that worked well together in production, but I guess it’s tying all the loose ends together and communicating effectively that helps. I did get a few individuals who struggled with being told what to do by a woman, but over time I’ve earned respect from people and tried to improve things wherever I can.
What changes have you seen over your time here with regards to the workforce and attitudes towards women in the factory environment?
I honestly don’t think we had a negative attitude towards women and men’s roles because we’re quite a mixed group to begin with. We had a female upholsterer at Export on stools, and we now have more guys doing the inspection which tended to be more women historically. Also, we have women doing cushion filling, which again was more male orientated in the past. I do feel this is being pushed more now though on upholstery and sewing which can only be a good thing.
What are your future aspirations regarding your team and your role here?
Hopefully I’m still employed by the company! I’m always looking for ways to improve efficiency and production and create a pleasant working environment that inspires people to work to their best standards. I’d like a happy, productive workforce, that communicates and works well together, and I’d like to see more of them progress into future Supervisor & Manager roles here too!
What advice would you give to women and girls that would like to work in a male-dominated role?
I’d say go for it! There’s help, support and advice out there for anyone who’s not scared of hard work and can face daily challenges. It’s an incredibly rewarding role and something to be proud of.
Whitemeadow Launches Apprentice of the Year Award
To recognise National Apprenticeship Week, Whitemeadow are launching their very first Apprentice of the Year Competition. The National Apprenticeship Week is a celebration of apprenticeships across England and is a time to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories across the country.
As a Company, Whitemeadow want to take this opportunity to promote the success of their own apprentices. The Apprentice of the Year Competition is open to all apprentices working for Whitemeadow Furniture whilst working towards a Modern Upholsterer Level 2 qualification.
The competition will recognise the outstanding achievements by an apprentice who has been working at Whitemeadow, whilst working towards a qualification, and entrants will be judged on their work in the calendar year of 2019.
Judges will be looking for evidence of the commitment the apprentice has shown to their role, to their own development and why they have stood out as one to watch in future.
Highlights from January Furniture Show 2020
January 2020 was quite possibly the biggest start to any year so far at Whitemeadow. With our re-vamped stand layout resulting in our largest footprint to date at the show, every corner was packed with innovation, style and the latest industry trends.
Here's a summary of what we showcased in case you didn't get a chance to stop by:
Whilst we were busy on our own stand, we also took time to look around the event to see what’s going on within the wider industry and noticed similar patterns emerging in everything from cabinets to lighting sectors.
Here is a round-up of the leading trends we spotted:
Eco Friendly products and components
The interest and engagement around climate change and efforts to combat its effects were evident around the show. No matter what category, it was indisputable that many manufacturers are looking at more eco-friendly processes and components to use in the manufacture of their products. And Whitemeadow are no exception.
We launched our first eco-friendly sofa at the show, which uses components including interiors, frame and fabric sourced from sustainable or recycled materials. We are also working with several fabric suppliers to source sustainable fabrics to use across all our ranges moving forward.
The global movement
We noticed a diverse celebration of globally inspired products across the show, promising to take homes on a journey of global eclecticism this year. The look welcomes the fusion of rich tones and patterns with rugged textures to symbolise the authentic, handcrafted style of this nomadic trend. We saw everything from hand-thrown pottery to hand-dyed textiles with tassels and pom-poms featuring heavily. We’ve also used this trend to influence several of our new scatter fabrics for 2020.
With Dulux announcing its colour of the year as Tranquil Dawn for 2020, it was no surprise to see soft, sandy tones making a big impact on the interiors sector this year. Moving away slightly from the grey tones that have dominated the interiors industry lately, the tranquil tones created a relaxed and nurturing space with fabrics, throw and scatters, appealing to buyers across sectors and creating an easy look for consumers to execute at home. The Whitemeadow stand featured sofas and beds in muted coloured fabrics such a mineral and mink to channel this popular trend.
After a busy few days, our team are filled with inspiration to channel into our industry-leading range, bringing you the best in British upholstery.
We're already counting down the days until next year!
Whitemeadow to Launch New-Look Stand at JFS 2020
Whitemeadow invites the industry to join them in celebrating 25 years in business with the unveiling of its much-anticipated new stand layout, which has been in the planning for months.
Whitemeadow is renowned for its unrivalled upholstery, and its new collections are no exception. In addition to its upholstery range, they will also be exhibiting several new bed frames that are inspired by today’s lifestyles.
Marketing Manager, Zehra Gezer, commented “We’ve put a lot of work into our stand this year and we can’t wait to unveil it to the industry. Refreshing colour palettes and inspiring upholstery will bring the new look stand to life for 2020. And as usual we will be unveiling a plethora of new designs that we hope will become a part of consumers’ homes for years to come.”
Whitemeadow is the largest independently owned British upholstery manufacturer. It has become one of the most trusted and well-respected companies in its industry and is a key supplier to the UK’s largest and best-known blue chip and independent furniture retailers.
We look forward to welcoming new and existing customers to its new look stand to find out more about its products, services and exciting developments for 2020.
- Stand location: Hall 1 E40/F40
Whitemeadow Celebrates 25 Years in Business
Whitemeadow celebrated its 25th anniversary in the upholstery industry last week. The 12th December marked the exact day 25 years ago that Whitemeadow came into existence.
Managing Director, Ian Oscroft, commented “The business has developed beyond recognition in our 25 years, starting from humble beginnings with a handful of employees at our first site, to where we are now, one of the biggest furniture makers in the UK with 6 manufacturing units and over 600 employees. This achievement is solely down to one thing and that is the people who have worked for us over the years”.
Whitemeadow have over 20 employees that have 20+ years’ experience at the company, totalling over 567 years!
To mark the occasion, staff across all 6 sites were treated to cupcakes and a free prize draw. The company also unveiled their own ‘Wall of Fame’, celebrating those members of staff who have worked at Whitemeadow for 25 years.
Head of Group Sales, Daniel Oscroft, added “Exciting times are ahead for Whitemeadow as the next few years will see us focus not only on strengthening our position as a key supplier to the UK’s upholstery market, but we will also focus on becoming a company recognised for its sustainability by implementing manufacturing processes and products that address current environmental concerns”.
Whitemeadow are looking forward to kicking off 2020 with their biggest stand yet at the January furniture show.
Whitemeadow Debuts at the Independent Hotel Show
We were delighted to debut at The Independent Hotel Show last week at Olympia London. It was a great experience for the team, who enjoyed meeting lots of new people and talking about products and fabrics that are perfect for the hotel market.
There was a great buzz in the hall, and it was very interesting to see and listen to other exhibitors who cater towards all aspects of the hotel market. There were over 350 quality suppliers to the hotel industry present, with categories covering everything from design and décor, housekeeping, audio equipment, beds and bedding, technology, business services and spa and wellness products.
In addition to this, there were 25 complimentary seminars and workshops. We attended a Social Media and Collaborations seminar which we found very interesting.
Over 6300 owners and operators from UK luxury, boutique and independent hotels were present. This gave us the opportunity to engage face to face with a targeted audience and showcase our products to key decision makers. We received some fantastic engagement and reaction to our products and are now well on the way to establishing ourselves as a key industry supplier.
Following our successful debut, we are delighted to announce that we will be returning to the Independent Hotel Show next year on a bigger and better stand!
We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!
Whitemeadow Supports Young Furniture Maker’s Exhibition
Whitemeadow have once again sponsored eight local schools to take part in the Furniture Makers' Company's 'Young Furniture Makers Exhibition' 2019. The 'Young Furniture Makers' exhibition was set up 10 years ago for school children, students and university graduates to showcase thier work and meet potential employers and members of the industry.
Head of Group HR Karen Clarridge and Marketing Manager Zehra Gezer attended the exhibition at the Furniture Maker's Hall and the Dutch Church in the heart of the City of London last week. Both were really impressed with the talent on display and were delighted to spot some of the student's work from the local schools Whitemeadow had sponsored for the School Design Prize, including this amazing Rabbit Sculpture by Emily Roberts-Howes from Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Ashbourne.
And congratulations to Esme Short, a student at The Joseph Whitaker School in Rainworth, who exhibited her architectural model and received a commendation for her entry into the School Design Prize.
We look forward to sponsoring more local schools next year as part of our drive to inspire future generations in the art of furniture making!
Whitemeadow Awarded Key People Management Accreditation
Whitemeadow are delighted to have been accredited as an Investors in People organisation, having met the appropriate requirements of the Investors in People framework.
Investors in People is a standard for people management, offering accreditation to organisations that adhere to the Investors in People Standard. Until January 2017, Investors in People was owned by the UK Government, but as of February 2017 it transitioned into the Investors in People Community Interest Company.
Investors in People assessments are conducted locally and involve Practitioners being present for a number of days on site to observe management meetings and production processes. It also involves online surveys being conducted with each member of staff, face to face interviews with management and randomly selected members of staff, observation of activities and interactions between staff and managers and review of supporting documents.
The award is valid for 3 years and Whitemeadow will be re-assessed at yearly intervals.
Head of Group HR, Karen Clarridge, commented on the accreditation:
“After several years of hard work and following a rigorous assessment process, we are thrilled to receive this recognition. Recognised the world over, the Investors in People accreditation simply demonstrates a clear commitment to the people who make up our organisation, we quite rightly feel extremely proud of our achievement.”
Whitemeadow to Exhibit at The Independent Hotel Show
Whitemeadow are excited to announce that they will be exhibiting for the first time at The Independent Hotel Show at Olympia, London on the 15th & 16th October, 2019.
Already established as one of the leading upholstery suppliers to retailers in the UK, Whitemeadow are also suppliers of high-quality contract furniture to a number of leading hotel groups, independent hotels and interior designers across the country. And it’s not just about making inspiring sofas, our range includes upholstered bed frames, sofa beds, chairs, chaises, love seats, swivel chairs, ottomans and stools, perfectly suited to the contract market.
Drawing on the enormous pool of talent and manufacturing capabilities already within the business, Whitemeadow have found that their diverse product range and skill set is perfectly suited to the contract market and now have an established contract division.
Sales Director Paul Wesson commented “As a white label supplier we are able to offer exceptional value to our contract clients. Whether your project is for one room or a whole hotel, you will be receiving the same great value. And because we work with the very best contract fabric suppliers around the world, you can be sure we have a quality you are looking for to bring the whole room together”.
So if you are looking to buy beds, sofas, sofa beds or accent pieces for your hotel or contract project, be sure to visit us at The Independent Hotel show in October. You can find us on stand J10!
For more information on our contract products and services, please see the 'Contract' menu on our homepage, or contact our Contract Co-Ordinator, Bruce Kitchen, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitemeadow wins prestigious customer award for second consecutive year
Whitemeadow are delighted to announce they have been voted the UK's Best Furniture Manufacturer by the readers of Interior's Monthly magazine for a second consecutive year.
Managing Director, Ian Oscroft, commented on the award: “It’s fantastic for Whitemeadow to yet again receive this award. It helps enormously to raise the profile of the business to both our customers, and the wider marketplace, and goes a long way in helping generate a real desire to buy our Sofas, Chairs and Beds. We would like to thank all our customers who have supported us over the years and those who took the time to vote for us on this occasion”.
Having built a reputation based on excellence in manufacturing, Whitemeadow successfully manufacture several product categories-including sofas, upholstered bed frames, sofa beds and accent pieces including chairs, footstools, chaises and ottomans. They aren’t limited to particular style either, they are determined to push the boundaries. Rather than producing a singular structured house style, they offer design styles appealing to a wide spectrum of customers, with styles ranging from timeless classics through to the pure contemporary.
A full list of winners can be viewed here.
Whitemeadow included in ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019’ Report
Whitemeadow is delighted to announce it's inclusion in the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019. The report is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), with companies representing over 40 sectors and spanning every country and region across the UK.
To be selected for the list, businesses had to demonstrate not only positive revenue growth over the last three years but also outperform their sector peers. The result is a unique and varied list of the UK’s most dynamic companies. More details on the Companies to Inspire reports and methodology can be found online at www.1000companies.com.
Whitemeadow is the largest independently owned upholstery manufacturer in Britain today, producing a wide range of sofas and upholstered bed frames for many of the country’s blue-chip high-street brands and premium independent retailers. Situated in the heart of the upholstery manufacturing centre of the UK, Whitemeadow began in 1994, handcrafting products in our Nottinghamshire factory. Fast forward to today and we’re proud to maintain our commitment to craftmanship, now on a much larger scale. As a major employer in the local area, we currently employ over 500 colleagues over 6 sites, all within a 2-mile radius which totals over 200,000 ft2 of manufacturing space. Focussing on design leadership, an efficient production process and attention to quality, we have grown to become one of Britain’s leading upholstery manufacturers.
Whitemeadow Managing Director said: “We are delighted to have been included once again by the London Stock Exchange Group as one of the 1000 companies to inspire Britain.
Given the political confusion surrounding the UK, we are proud to be flying a small flag for British, and in particular Upholstery, manufacturing which in times of such uncertainty faces many challenges. Our fantastic team continue to navigate these difficulties with great skill, ability and enthusiasm and I am extremely proud of everyone for their contribution in helping the business achieve this accolade”.
David Schwimmer, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group:
“Congratulations to all the companies selected for inclusion in the sixth edition of London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report, which identifies the UK’s most dynamic SMEs. SMEs drive growth, innovation and job creation and are the lifeblood of the British economy. We believe that supporting the growth of these businesses is critical to the UK economy and the creation of a society that works for everyone.”
A full searchable database of all of the companies along with a downloadable pdf of the publication can be found online at www.1000companies.com
Don’t miss us in Manchester!
2019 has got off to a big and busy start for Whitemeadow. We kicked off the year with our best-ever performance at the January Furniture Show, followed by a very successful return to the Long Eaton show circuit in April. Add to this a new collaboration with The Branded Furniture Company (Whitemeadow are the chosen manufacturer for the new Orla Kiely upholstery range) and increasing the Content by Terence Conran range, and it’s easy to see why we have high hopes for our return to the Manchester Furniture Show next month.
Once again, we’ll be showcasing a range of house upholstery, beds and occasional pieces, plus a selection of Content by Terence Conran models. As the chosen manufacturer of The Branded Furniture Company, we will also be presenting a range of new Orla Kiely Upholstery models.
The design and development team have been busy visiting shows throughout Europe to source new fabrics and incorporate the latest trends into their ranges, allowing us to offer our customers styles that are specifically suited to their market and budget.
“We’ve got a lot of new big projects we’re working on this year, which are all very exciting and challenging at the same time”, says Sales Director Paul Wesson.
The branded furniture market is one area that Whitemeadow are looking to develop further this year. A new Content by Terence Conran Northern Showroom was opened in April at our Sutton In Ashfield site, and The Branded Furniture Company have chosen the Whitemeadow Orchard Way site as the home of the Orla Kiely Upholstery Showroom.
Head of Group Sales, Daniel Oscroft, commented “We love coming to the Manchester Furniture Show as it provides us with a vital mid-year touchpoint with our customers, and our offering just keeps getting bigger and better each year so it’s definitely a firm favourite on our calendar!”
Whitemeadow will be exhibiting in the Cobden Room in the foyer area of Manchester Central from the 14th-16th July.
Design Icon Sir Terence Conran presented with Lifetime Achievement Award
Congratulations to Sir Terence Conran from all at Whitemeadow on being presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award this week.
Sir Terence Conran, one of the world’s best-known designers, retailers and restaurateurs, has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry, in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the design and furnishing sector.
Commenting on the award, Sir Terence said: “In my heart I have always considered myself a furniture maker, it has given me more pleasure than anything else during my rather long career. As a very young boy I vividly remember the absolute joy of finally finishing making my very own bookcase and it has been in my bloodstream ever since. So it was truly thrilling to be recognised by The Furniture Makers’ Company and to enjoy a very special evening with fellow craftspeople who share my love of making furniture. One of my big fears is that as a nation we often appear to have lost the joy of making things so it was uplifting to be surrounded by passionate furniture makers and see that the talent and passion in our industry burns as brightly as ever.”
For further information, please click here.
Whitemeadow have been the official manufacturer of the Content by Terence Conran Upholstery range since 2017 and will be showcasing new models from the collection at the Manchester Furniture Show in July. To register your place click here.
To find your nearest Content by Conran stockist please click here.
Whitemeadow to Reopen Showroom in time for Long Point
Whitemeadow are delighted to announce that they will re-open their Independent Showroom during the 29th April, 30th April and 1st May.
The UK’s largest independent upholstery manufacturer has had a two-year break from exhibiting during the Long Point show weeks due to relocation and refurbishment of its Design and Development Centre.
Sales Director Paul Wesson commented “We’ve taken some time to really focus on the space we felt we needed in order to inspire and excite our independent customers. It’s taken a while, but we are very happy with what we have achieved. We felt the Content by Terence Conran range deserved its own branded area, and the Conran brand have fully embraced this by deciding to exhibit its cabinet product alongside the upholstery, so we have in effect created a Northern Conran Showroom, which will be open all year on an appointment-based system. There is also a dedicated branded area for Hypnos too, where we will showcase our exclusive collaboration with them- the first ever Hypnos Sofa Bed mattress. All in all, we’ve got some fantastic products to show our customers and we look forward to welcoming customers, old and new!”
In addition to Conran and Hypnos, Whitemeadow will also be showcasing a large selection of Whitemeadow sofas, beds, sofa beds and accent pieces.
Conveniently located just off J28 of the M1, you will find us at:
Whitemeadow Furniture, Unit 1, Maycroft Gardens, Huthwaite, Sutton-in-Ashfield, NG17 2TL.
If you are an existing Whitemeadow customer and wish to make an appointment, please contact your Sales Manager. If you are new to Whitemeadow but wish to visit, please email email@example.com
Whitemeadow Awarded Key Trading Standards Certification
Whitemeadow are delighted to announce that they have been awarded membership of the 'FIRA Compliance Scheme'. The Furniture Industry Research Association's 'Compliance Scheme for the Fire Performance of Upholstered Furniture' aims to offer reassurance that a manufacturer, retailer, upholster or supplier of upholstered furniture has suitable processes and procedures in place to demonstrate due diligence compliance with the UK's Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations (FFFSR).
Commercial Director Andy Kitchen said "The scheme has been awarded ‘Assured Advice’ status by Hertfordshire Trading Standards and any ‘Assured Advice’ given as part of the scheme may be relied upon in the event of a difference in interpretation of the FFFSR by any UK enforcement bodies. Certified companies will, on satisfactory completion of the Scheme audit, become part of a ‘regulated group’ of businesses who will benefit from the provision of tailored advice in relation to the UK FFFSR’s for upholstered furniture which are enforced by Trading Standards.
On 30th January this year, we undertook the audit. The audit covered process management, control of materials, traceability, compliance testing, labelling and crisis management. I am very pleased to say that we met the criteria in all areas, and were duly awarded our certificate of membership, as a ‘Certified Company’ on 22nd February.
I am sure that this accreditation will be warmly received by our current, and any potential new customers, giving us the credibility that comes from being certified under an Industry and Trading Standards recognised scheme. The certificate was presented to us (received by Quality Manager Andy Pinder) by Phil Reynolds, General Manager at FIRA.
January Furniture Show 2019 Highlights
January got off to a big and busy start for all at Whitemeadow with the January Furniture Show 2019. With visitor registration up 50% on last year, we made sure we had the products, fabrics and people out on the stands to impress. And we didn’t disappoint!
We took several new ranges to the show- all received with interest and enthusiasm from customers old and new. And our new fabric stories were greeted with delight as many customers chose to mix up their in-store offering by ordering models in new fabrics and colourways.
Whilst there, we took the opportunity to browse all five halls to see if we could spot any clear interior trends for the next twelve months. We were pleased to note that most of these were present on both the Whitemeadow Upholstery and Bed stands.
Monochrome is set to make a come back in 2019 as we noted a slight move-away from the greys that have dominated the last few years. But if being bold is not your thing, you can still use the palette on scatter cushions and stools. We have now launched a brand-new hanger, aptly called Black and White, that can be used on both scatters and accent pieces. The new Luca model, below, is presented in new Flair Charcoal with a number of scatters and George footstools in fabrics from the new Black and White hanger.
Soft furnishings in a selection of textures can make a big impact when displayed together. We noticed lots of velvets, wools and textiles with movement across the show, indicating this will be a big trend in interiors for this year. On our own stand, we have introduced a number of new boucle co-ordinating and body fabrics. The Como model, below, is presented in brand new fabrics Gio Cream with Herdwick Taupe and Latte scatters.
Florals and feminine tones were another trend that we noticed at this year’s show. Although pastels have been popular in recent years, 2019 looks set to be the year that greys and neutrals are broken up with blush, dusty pink tones and delicate floral prints across the home. We interpreted this on the Whitemeadow upholstery stand using our brand-new Tivoli model (below). Presented in new fabric, Ashcroft, Blush and new scatter fabrics from our new Topanga hanger.
Rust and Bronze
Edgier than the feminine tones mentioned above, we predict rust and bronze tones will be more noticeable in homes this year. Perhaps influenced by Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2019, Living Coral, these earth-tones evoke vitality and buoyancy. Again, this palette can be introduced in subtle ways such as scatters and accent pieces. Launched at the show, our new co-ordinate range, Spectrum, was featured on the scatters on the Capri in Prisma Spice. Hints of burnt orange also come through on the body fabric, Piero, Hedgerow.
To watch highlights from the show, please click here, or for more information on any of the above ranges or fabrics, please contact your Sales Manager or email Enquiries@whitemeadow.com
Whitemeadow Wins ‘Excellence in Manufacturing’ Award
Whitemeadow are delighted to announce that it has been awarded the ‘Excellence in Manufacturing’ award at the 10th annual Chad Business Awards.
The award recognises Whitemeadow’s modern, efficient and innovative approach to manufacturing. In order to win the award, Whitemeadow had to demonstrate its commitment to the excellence and development of its products, provide evidence of its training and passing on skills to future generations in the industry and how they promote the region as a centre for manufacturing excellence.
Chad group editor Phil Bramley said: “It was a brilliant night, with some very deserving winners. It was inspiring to see the support which exists within our business community. The Chad’s business awards are one of Mansfield’s highest profile awards, winning one of the awards says a lot about the quality of your organisation and the strength of your team. Our awards attract a wide range of entries from across all sectors from both small and larger organisations. But the winners all have one thing in common – they are truly excellent at what they do and have proved this by winning a Chad Award. We want to help you raise the profile of your organisation and enhance its reputation by promoting the great work you are doing while at the same time providing you with a platform to celebrate your success”.
Ian Oscroft, Managing Director at Whitemeadow commented, “It was great for Whitemeadow to enter the Chad Business Awards and to participate in promoting the Ashfield and Mansfield Business Sector, given that we are now such a large employer within the area. The evening was most enjoyable, and it was good to see so many promising businesses are located around the community. It was a sweet moment therefore, when Whitemeadow were named winner of the “Excellence in Manufacturing” award which gives further recognition to both the business and those that work within it. Many thanks to all of our employees for their contribution to the business, it is their efforts that have won this award”.
Whitemeadow ready to Inspire and Impress at JFS 2019
It’s been a busy year for Whitemeadow. 2018 has seen us invest more in our infrastructure, technology, people and products than ever before. We now have arguably the best facilities in the industry, along with a team of people who we believe are the most creative and dedicated in the UK upholstery manufacturing sector. “This team is now fully focussed on creating an array of new products for the 2019 January Furniture Show, where we will be showcasing more new products than ever before, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure!” commented Design Director, Paul Ainley.
Sales Director Paul Wesson said “The 2018 January Furniture Show was our biggest and best show to date, and it’s hard to imagine how we will top it, but having seen what the team are working on, we are confident that 2019 will be bigger and better! This year we are also rolling out a targeted marketing campaign to ensure that we attract the highest quality customers the show has to offer”.
Following on from the successful launch of the Whitemeadow Bed Stand in 2018, we are looking forward to continuing the success with a range of new upholstered bed frames, in new fabric stories, accompanied by selection of new accent furniture from our recently launched Accent Range.
We were delighted to hear from the organisers of the show that the number of pre-registered visitors for the 2019 show is at a record level, up by 50% for the equivalent time last year. We say bring it on! We look forward to see our existing customers to hear all about what’s happening in their stores and introduce them to our new ranges, and we can’t wait to meet potential new customers whom we hope we will be working with in 2019.
Supporting the Designers and Furniture Makers of the Future
Whitemeadow is helping inspire the next generation of designers and furniture makers by supporting a campaign organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity. We have sponsored eight schools within the local Nottinghamshire area.
Launched in 2014, the School Design Prize raises awareness of the furnishing industry among school children by rewarding them for their design & technology course work. Every year The Furniture Makers’ Company asks companies and individuals to sponsor copies of a design textbook which are then posted to schools around the country for design & technology teachers to present to their most outstanding student. The prize is a certificate and a copy of ‘Design of the 20th Century’ by Charlotte and Peter Fiell, published by Taschen.
The Furniture Makers’ Company is the British furnishing industry’s charity, which fosters and supports the industry by nurturing skills and expertise, supporting those in need and inspiring excellence. It encourages the highest standards and best practice in the design, making, marketing and selling of all kinds of furniture and furnishings throughout the UK, recognising quality through the award of its Guild Marks. It supports students and young people with grants, training and mentoring in order to foster talent and safeguard the future of the industry. It provides support and assistance to those in need who are working or have worked in the UK furnishing industry. You can find out more here.
Dr Tony Smart MBE, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “We are immensely grateful to Whitemeadow for their support of our School Design Prize campaign. The long term prosperity of the furnishing industry depends on us attracting young people to pursue a career in this creative, vibrant sector. The award is something that the winning student should be very proud of.”
Ian Oscroft, Managing Director at Whitemeadow commented: “It is absolutely key for our industry that we focus on developing the next generation of designers and we are keen therefore to support this initiative within our local area”.
George Cooper, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Furniture Makers' Company commented: "Emily Lindsay from Joseph Whitaker School, one of Whitemeadow’s recipients was in attendance, and she actually came second in the National School Design Prize for the piece called Multimedia. It wasn’t a piece of furniture per se, it was an architectural model, but she got a lot out of the day. Her parents accompanied her and they were very positive about the prize and the exhibition, and it’s because of Whitemeadow’s support, so thank you".
Click here to view a short video which captures the vibrancy and excitement of the 2018 Young Furniture Makers Exhibition.
Whitemeadow Retains its Inspirational Status
Whitemeadow are happy to announce our inclusion once again in the London Stock Exchange '1000 Companies to Inspire Europe 2018'.
Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange Plc, commented “The economic potential of Europe’s fastest growing companies is clear in ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Europe’. The report shows high-growth SMEs are the innovators, job creators and drivers of economic growth. They have the potential to transform the European economy and give the next generation of young people the future they deserve.
“So, it is vital that we give these companies, and companies like them, access to suitable growth finance. London Stock Exchange Group is committed to supporting the job creators of tomorrow, increasing their access to long-term patient capital to fund their continued success.”
A full searchable database of all of the companies along with a downloadable pdf of the publication can be found online at www.1000companies.com
Paving the Way for the Future of UK Upholstery Manufacturing
In the final part of our mini series looking at how Whitemeadow supports its customers, we are looking to the future and the ways in which Whitemeadow are investing in the UK upholstery industry. Inspiring the next generation through engaging with school children, helping re-train the local community in key upholstery skills and investing heavily in new facilities are just a few of the ways we demonstrate our dedication to ensuring Whitemeadow stays at the forefront of the industry way into the future.
In 2017, Whitemeadow Upholstery and The Furniture Makers’ Company were delighted to announce the launch of the first-ever Whitemeadow Upholstery Design Award. Whitemeadow Managing Director, Ian Oscroft commented at the time: “We know that to ensure Whitemeadow stays at the forefront of the industry, we need to continually bring fresh new designs to the market and to that end we encourage a working climate for inspiration”. The first placement was so successful that we have now welcomed our second student, Megan Glew, a Product Design student from Nottingham Trent University, into the Design department for a 1-year placement.
And we’re not stopping there, we’re going back to school! We're helping to inspire the next generation of designers and furniture makers by supporting a campaign organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity. We are sponsoring eight schools within the Nottinghamshire area, where the company was founded and still based today. Launched in 2014, the School Design Prize raises awareness of the furnishing industry among school children by rewarding them for their design & technology course work. Whitemeadow believe it is absolutely key for our industry that we focus on developing the next generation and we are keen therefore to support this initiative within our local area. Hopefully we will see some of these young faces working at Whitemeadow in the future!
Later this year we are due to launch our Sewing School for local people who would like to train as sewing machinists. The idea behind our sewing school is to encourage people to pursue a career in upholstery manufacturing and equip them with the technical skills and experience they need to make a go of it.
And finally, we are delighted to unveil our brand new, state of the art Design and Development Centre. We have invested more than £700,00 in the custom-built 13750 sq ft facility, which not only houses our full design and development team, but also a 4000 sq ft customer showroom!
We are confident that the investment Whitemeadow have made in their workforce and facilities at the front end of the business will stand us in good stead for the future and help strengthen our position as one of the most creative and innovative furniture manufacturers in the UK.
Why Whitemeadow is at the Forefront of the Upholstery Industry
Continuing with our series on how Whitemeadow supports its customers, this week we are taking a closer look at the expertise and experience that Whitemeadow is home to.
Situated in the heart of the upholstery manufacturing centre of the UK, Whitemeadow was established in 1994, handcrafting products in our Nottinghamshire factory.
Fast-forward to today and we’re proud to maintain our commitment to craftsmanship, but now on a much larger scale. Expansion has allowed us to produce more but has never extinguished our commitment to keeping all our products hand-crafted in our Nottinghamshire factories.
And we wouldn’t be where we are today without the exceptional skills of our experienced and dedicated workforce. Team members at Whitemeadow hold a wide set of skills which enables us to be agile in our creative and manufacturing processes, and we are proud to have a workforce that has built up many years of experience with the company- our Frames team have a combined experience of 118 years!
Experienced Design and Development department
Beginning with just one designer 20 years ago, our innovative and passionate design team is the foundation of our business. The team is now over 20 strong and embodies a mix of creative energy and industry experience. The whole team shares the same drive and desire to create inspirational, innovative designs in the latest fabrics and get them to market before our competition. Our Design Director, Paul Ainley, who has been with the business for over 20 years, commented “Our team here are always working on something new, it’s exciting to take new designs to our customers and see them get really enthusiastic about our products, it’s what we’re here for”.
Fully trained Customer Support teams
We have specific teams to support our customers and continually invest in ongoing training to assist you with all your pre-delivery and post-delivery queries. Whether you wish to amend an order or simply track the progress of your order, we have over 107 years of experience at Whitemeadow within our Customer Support teams, so you can be sure that the person dealing with your request is an expert in their field.
Whitemeadow are committed to focussing on design leadership, efficient production processes and attention to quality to ensure that we support you, our customers, in making your business a success.
To find out more about how we can support your business please contact your Whitemeadow Sales Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Five reasons why Made in Britain means quality
At Whitemeadow, the largest independently owned upholstery manufacturer in the UK, our approach to furniture making is simple. Skilled craftsmen taking pride in building tailored products with high quality finishes following exacting UK standards to support the brands of our loyal customer base.
This simple approach has led us to become one of the most trusted and well-respected upholstery manufacturers in Britain.
What’s our secret?
Well, all our furniture is made here in the UK to meticulous standards, by highly-skilled craftsmen using only the best materials.
So, why does ‘Made in Britain’ mean you’re getting a quality product?
The best quality fabrics
Our team of designers works with expert worldwide suppliers to develop our fabrics and have long established relationships with some of the finest mills in the world.
Most importantly, we buy only from suppliers who we know meet the quality standards you would expect from our products.
From contemporary plains, decadent velvets and custom collections bespoke to Whitemeadow, we leave no stone unturned in sourcing the very best fabric ranges to complement our designs.
The best quality interiors
To ensure the comfort of our furniture matches its good looks, we put the same amount of effort into sourcing our ample range of fillings options, as we do our fabrics and frame components.
All our interiors are supplied to us by long established experts.
We ensure all interiors we use undertake a series of industry standard tests to evaluate performance, flammability and overall suitability for use.
The best quality ethos
We have a great awareness of sustainability, durability and responsible consumerism. We pride ourselves on making our own furniture by hand, from start to finish, in our own Nottinghamshire workshops, creating high-quality products here in Britain while providing skills and employment in the process.
The best quality standards
Our component selection process means that it is not just about presenting a product that looks good, it also means presenting a finished product that really works, whilst always complying with the exacting current British standards.
Fully certified performance and suitability reports, from an independent UKAS accredited laboratory, are always sought and verified before we present a new product to our customers. We are also proud members of The British Furniture Manufactures' Association, a trade body that represents the interests of the the furniture industry in this country. To find out more please visit www.bfm.org.uk
The best quality care
We understand that paying attention to the finer details is key. Ensuring our furniture is made here in the UK means we have 100% control over every step in the production process, creating a quality product that we can be proud of.
At Whitemeadow, we have a simple approach that involves utilising the best of British. Making the most of the finest technology and employing passionate individuals to create truly inspiring British made upholstery.
For any enquiries please contact us at email@example.com
Helping your business thrive with the Whitemeadow online Trade Portal
Whitemeadow are one of the few, if not only, upholstery manufacturers in the UK to have a dedicated, protected Trade Portal area within our website for the sole use of our independent customers. This is a fantastic tool that can be accessed with an exclusive log in that you can request through the website request form or through your Whitemeadow Sales Manager.
Our website is at the forefront of our communication with you and is designed to keep you up to date with important information regarding products, fabrics and more. It is designed to be your central resource for everything Whitemeadow related!
We’ve highlighted some of the key functions below:
We understand how important great product photography is to our customers, we know it can be the turning point in a consumer’s buying decision, by seeing it look amazing in an image. That’s why we have invested heavily in our lifestyle photography for use by our independent customers in their stores and on their websites. By having access to the Trade Portal, you have exclusive access to view and download high resolution product photography for you to use in store, on your own website, to create digital assets or printed literature. So, no emails, telephone calls or waiting for an image to be sent!
All our upholstery and bed frame specification sheets are also available to view and download. Essential information about the construction of the products can be found here. If used on the shop floor, this is an excellent resource for your staff to use when speaking to customers, especially outside of office hours when you may not be able to speak to one of team. It is also an invaluable source of information for online and customer service teams.
The Fabric Library
We have taken great care and time in creating our Fabric Library to ensure that you have all the information you require about our fabrics at the touch of a button. It is a fantastic resource which enables you to easily view and download images of our fabrics for your own use on your website and help staff to identify fabrics if they have a customer query over the telephone. You can also order swatch samples, which again can be used by staff on the shop floor when speaking to customers. By clicking on individual fabric images, you can quickly view important information about each fabric, view other colours in the range, and view lifestyle product imagery featuring the fabric where available.
Whitemeadow are proud to support its trade partners, and you can trust that our products and service allow you to meet the needs of your customers and your business.
For more information please contact your Whitemeadow Sales Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Maximising in-store sales opportunities with accent pieces
All furniture stores have the same primary objective- to sell as many products as possible. But what is the best way to do this? Over the next few weeks we will be publishing a mini series of posts that explain how Whitemeadow supports you- the retailer, to do just that.
Through our many years of experience of working with a large variety of premium independent retailers- from small boutiques to larger independent groups, we have found that the key to successful repeat orders on both our upholstery and bed frame collections is to understand the importance of dressing room sets to create impact and inspiration. It is essential that displays are presented in a way that enhances the products as much as possible. We have seen that customers who understand this concept and practice it successfully, see strong week on week repeat business from consumers, and that up to 50% of consumers will buy an accent piece of furniture such as a footstool or chair if it is displayed with sofa or bed they are looking to buy. With figures like this, is this an opportunity that you can afford to miss?
Whitemeadow are proud to be able to support our independent customers by providing a wide range of accent chairs, footstools, ottomans and chaises- available in over 100 fabrics to contrast or match the main upholstery piece or bed frame on display. These can be displayed and ordered as part of any range display.
Obviously, displaying ottomans and chaises with beds, and accent chairs and footstools displayed with sofas work really well with consumers as it’s easy for them to picture how they can work with the space they have at home. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box if you also sell other home departments ranges. Why not add an accent chair to a bathroom display or a child’s bedroom room set? Our Accent Collection is made up of versatile companion pieces that can be used to compliment any room’s décor, including living rooms, studies, hallways, adults and kids’ bedrooms or even bathrooms.
From stylish compact boutique chairs to large cosy cuddlers, we have a wide variety of individual chairs in all shapes and sizes, with a choice of wooden leg finishes, castors, or sleek chrome legs.
Our range of storage stools and ottomans not only provide a practical storage solution for children’s’ toys, magazines and general clutter, but they can also compliment a rooms’ décor to make a home individual.
To find out more information about our accent range, please contact your Whitemeadow Sales Manager, or email email@example.com
Adding Storage and Style to Living Spaces
Market trends show that customers are looking for accent pieces that offer storage and style. To give your customers what they want, Whitemeadow are delighted to launch a new portfolio of accent items comprising of chairs, footstools, chaises and ottomans!
Having already earned a reputation for excellence in manufacturing high quality sofas and upholstered beds, Whitemeadow are excited to extend their collection of accent pieces by creating portfolios dedicated to the accent piece ranges.
We are now able to offer a wide range of items designed for everyone, from practical storage solutions to bold accessory pieces. They can all be ordered individually or as part of any of our sofa or bed collections, in any of our current fabrics, thus offering your customers a fantastic range of products to choose from!
“We have found that the key to successful repeat orders on both our beds and sofa ranges is understanding the importance of dressing room sets within stores to create impact”, commented Sales Manager Darren Nicholson. “Our research suggests that up to 50% of consumers buy an occasional piece of furniture such as a footstool or chair if they are displayed with the sofa or bed they are looking to buy, and that retailers who employ this tactic see week on week strong repeat business from consumers”.
Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the ways in which these ranges can be targeted to your customers, so keep up to date with us on social media to make sure you don’t miss it!
For more information on the ranges, please contact your Whitemeadow Sales Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitemeadow scoops prestigious industry award after customer vote
Independent British furniture maker Whitemeadow has been voted Best UK Furniture Manufacturer of the Year by readers of trade magazine Interiors Monthly.
The Nottinghamshire-based firm topped the poll by a considerable margin after being shortlisted for the vote by the publication, which aims to keep furniture retailers up-to-date with the latest design and business trends in the industry. Its readers were asked to vote for their favourite brands and products in 51 individual categories this year.
Founded in 1994, Whitemeadow employs around 550 people across six sites within a two-mile radius of Huthwaite. It has more than 170,000 sq ft of manufacturing space.
It is one of the few remaining independently-owned British upholstery manufacturers and has become one of the most trusted and well-respected companies in the industry. It is a key supplier to the UK’s largest blue chip and independent furniture retailers.
Ian Oscroft, the firm’s Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to have scooped this prestigious honour. Whitemeadow has won several awards over the years, but this one is extra special for two reasons. One, because it is from such a highly-regarded and well-respected publication which has a great deal of credibility in the industry for setting the agenda. And two, because it was voted for by readers of the magazine, who are our customers, which shows that we are continuing to do the right things by innovating, being brave with our design ideas and giving the industry the service and product quality that it needs. This is a huge honour and is testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole team here at Whitemeadow, who take such pride in producing great British furniture which continues to push the boundaries of design and drive industry trends.”
What we learned from the Manchester Furniture Show
As our Sales Manager Daniel Oscroft pointed out before the Manchester Furniture Show, it is from our customers and their buying trends that we learn the greatest amount of useful information. By analysing what our customers are buying, we can tap into trends on fabrics and furniture shapes to ensure that we are creating exactly what the market needs, when they need it. It’s what we’ve become renowned for as the UK’s largest independent upholstery manufacturer.
So, what did we learn from our time in Manchester this year? Well, ultimately, our customers were looking for well executed products, whether is was a retro, 60’s inspired model, or a more comfortable and familiar piece. Great fabric stories were also crucial, with many of our customers ordering models in the fabrics they were presented in at the show.
Here’s a round-up of some of the key trends that were driving sales this year.
The popularity of velvets shows no sign of abating any time soon, with a lot of our customers ordering display models in the fabric. Many of our upholstered bed collection models were ordered in the new Plush velvet pastel tones that we now have to offer, including Sky and Petal. This indicates that consumers are looking for a softer, more relaxed look and feel to their bedrooms. It also shows that consumers are not afraid of colour and are confident to experiment with palettes that are not used widely throughout the home.
It’s not just softer colours that we noticed were popular at the show. Sumptuously detailed beds with scroll ends, deep buttoning and relaxed diamond pleats were also extremely popular this summer. Our customers reported a demand from consumers for luxurious, yet relaxed and contemporary styles. This is a trend we picked up on back in our February post ‘Top Bedroom Interior Trends to Look Out For in 2018’, that consumers were looking to turn their bedrooms into sanctuaries, a place to escape the unstable and sometimes turbulent world outside.
The Big Slouch
At the January Furniture Show we noticed a definite trend for the relaxed and informal style sofas that we love to make! This popularity has continued into the summer with customers opting for the larger pieces of furniture in the ranges. Big, comfy, deep corner groups were high on the buyer’s lists, with models such as the Metro and the new Sadler corner group proving to be a big hit. If staying in is the new going out, perhaps consumers are looking for big pieces to accommodate family and friends? Whatever the reason, we’re all for it!
To find out more about our latest upholstery and bed collections, please speak to your Whitemeadow Sales Manager, or email email@example.com
Whitemeadow partners with award-winning mattress manufacturer, Hypnos
As a sofa bed manufacturer, Whitemeadow are pleased to announce an exclusive collaboration with award-winning mattress manufacturer, Hypnos. The collaboration will see the first-ever Hypnos sofa bed mattress available to purchase as an upgrade with selected Whitemeadow sofa beds. The mattress was unveiled at the Manchester Furniture show to great acclaim from customers and industry press.
Chris Ward, Group Marketing Director, at Hypnos Beds, said: “Hypnos is celebrated as the expert in handcrafted, pocket sprung mattresses and is delighted to be working with Whitemeadow to support its latest sofa bed range.
“In conjunction with Whitemeadow’s product team, Hypnos has developed a luxurious pocket sprung mattress, which fits perfectly into the sofa bed mechanism and offers a superior level of support for a comfortable night’s sleep. Traditionally, sofa bed mattresses comprise of either foam or open coil springs. With a pocket sprung mattress, the body is fully supported throughout the night by individual springs which adjust to the shape and weight of the body. This mattress also allows natural air flow aiding temperature regulation to prevent overheating.
“Hypnos is very proud to offer a supremely comfortable mattress for consumers who are looking to upgrade their sofa bed. As with all Hypnos mattresses, the Kingsclere carries a 10 year guarantee for full peace of mind.”
- Having manufactured luxury handmade beds for more than 100 years, Hypnos is internationally renowned as the expert in handcrafted pocket spring mattresses and divans. Combining traditional skills with constant innovation and using only the finest natural and sustainable materials, Hypnos has a reputation for making the most comfortable beds in the world
- Hypnos has a Royal Warrant, providing not only bespoke beds but advice on sleep and wellbeing to the Royal Family
- Hypnos is one of only a few UK manufacturers to have been awarded the prestigious Manufacturing Guild Mark (MGM) accreditation
- Hypnos has been awarded the National Bed Federation’s ‘Bed Manufacturer of the Year’ accolade 2017/18. Having previously scooped the prestigious title in 2011and 2014, the ethical business is the first company to have been presented with this award three times
- Hypnos was the first bed manufacturer in the world to be carbon neutral, complying with the PAS 2060 Carbon Neutrality Standard since 2011.
- Hypnos has been awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise for International Trade in the 2017 honours list in recognition of its substantial growth and commercial success in international business, as well as driving strong year-on-year growth in overseas sales and export activity
- Magic Breakfast is Hypnos’ Corporate Charity Partner. Providing healthy breakfasts and expert support to schools in disadvantaged areas of the UK, the team at Magic Breakfast works tirelessly with hundreds of schools to develop long term sustainable solutions aimed at abolishing child hunger in the morning
For more information on how to stock this exclusive partnership, please contact your Whitemeadow Sales Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us at the Manchester Furniture Show!
As a proud British Furniture Manufacturer and the UK's largest independent upholstery manufacturer the heat is on and we are getting set for our second big show of the year, the Manchester Furniture Show!
This years’ show will be our biggest yet as we are doubling the amount of exhibition space we have had in previous years. In addition to our new sofa and bed ranges, we are really excited to launch several new projects that many people have been working on behind the scenes for several months.
First up, we will be launching a new portfolio of accent pieces comprising of chairs, footstools, chaises and ottomans. Our research suggests that up to 50% of consumers buy an occasional piece of furniture such as a footstool or chair if they are displayed with the sofa or bed they are looking to buy, and that retailers who employ this tactic see week on week strong repeat business from consumers. We hope by introducing this dedicated portfolio of models, we will meet the rising demand of our customers for these products.
Secondly, we are excited to be unveiling our new range of sofa beds, many of which will be available to our independent customers for the first time. Within this, we are delighted to announce a new collaboration with award winning mattress manufacturer Hypnos. This is the first time ever that Hypos have manufactured a sofa bed mattress and we are delighted that they chose to work with us on this exciting collaboration. A selection of our sofa bed models can be upgraded to include a Hypnos mattress, which we believe will be very successful.
All the products will be on the website in time for the show so please keep a look out for them, and if you have not already registered with us, then please do! You can also keep up to date with all Whitemeadow news on our Instagram and Twitter accounts, so make sure you are following us!
It’s also been great to see our products featured on the Manchester Show’s website and social media platforms. The Chi Chi photography in particular is very popular!
Sales Manager Dan Oscroft commented: “The Manchester show brings with it a great opportunity for us to engage with our customers at the half year mark. It’s important for us as the manufacturer to connect with our customers to hear their views and suggestions on current and upcoming styles and trends. Ultimately, it’s our customers, the retailers who have this knowledge, being in contact with consumers every day and understanding what they are buying, so for us, this is extremely valuable and drives much of our design concepts for the succeeding months”.
To register for tickets, please see here.
Whitemeadow Listed for Third Year in LSE’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2018
Furniture manufacturere Whitemeadow has been identified as one of London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2018. The report is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses across the UK.
To be included in the list, companies needed to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their industry peers. More detail on the methodology can be found in the report online at www.1000companies.com.
Whitemeadow is the largest independently owned upholstery manufacturer in Britain today, producing a wide range of sofas and upholstered bed frames for many of the country’s blue chip high street brands and premium independent retailers.
Situated in the heart of the upholstery manufacturing centre of the UK, Whitemeadow began in 1994, handcrafting products in our Nottinghamshire factory. Fast forward to today and we’re proud to maintain our commitment to craftmanship, now on a much larger scale.
As a major employer in the local area, we currently employ over 500 colleagues over 6 sites, all within a 2-mile radius which totals over 170,000 ft2 of manufacturing space. Focussing on design leadership, an efficient production process and attention to quality, we have grown to become one of Britain’s leading upholstery manufacturers.
Whitemeadow Managing Director, Ian Oscroft commented “We are delighted to be included again in the LSE’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report. We have focused heavily on improving our infrastructure, from both a people and operative perspective. Investment in new production equipment such as CNC routers and automated fabric cutting machines have allowed us to increase output efficiency, whilst educating and encouraging career development of our employees has improved productivity. We look forward to continuing this progress.”
Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange Plc:
“We warmly congratulate all of the companies identified in this year’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report. Five years on, the report continues to demonstrate the strength and diversity of British businesses across the country. These dynamic companies are the backbone of our economy, playing an important role in the UK’s ability to innovate, export and grow. This report is a significant part of London Stock Exchange Group’s broader campaign to support UK high growth companies. We are committed to championing British businesses and Britain’s dynamic entrepreneurial spirit.”
A full searchable database of all of the companies along with a downloadable pdf of the publication can be found online at www.1000companies.com
Discovering New Talent at the Creatives Industries Expo, NTU
Whitemeadow were delighted to exhibit at the first ever Creative Industries Expo at Nottingham Trent University last month. Managing Director Ian Oscroft, Human Resource Manager, Karen Clarridge and Marketing Manager, Zehra Gezer manned the Whitemeadow stand throughout the day. Ian commented: "We know that to ensure Whitemeadow stays at the forefront of the industry, we need to continually bring fresh new designs to the market and to that end we encourage a working climate for inspiration. It was particularly refreshing to attend the fair and talk with so many young people who are passionate about design and have a desire to innovate".
The Expo was aimed at students enrolled on creative courses such as Product Design, Furniture Design and Textiles who are looking for opportunities including graduate jobs, work experience, freelance projects during their studies or volunteer work. Over 40 companies exhibited on the day, including Next Retail Ltd, New Look Retailers Ltd, Design Council and Games Workshop. In total, 739 students attended the fair and was deemed a great success by the organisers.
Karen commented:"Whitemeadow already have a strong relationship with Leicester De Montfort University where we launched the first ever Whitemeadow Upholstery Design Award in 2017. Product Design student Josh Greaves was the winner and is currently completing a very successful one year work placement with our Design department. This event has given us some great exposure amongst local students, and meeting so many talented and enthusiastic individuals has given me confidence in the pool of talent from which we can attract future employees".
Get Social with Whitemeadow!
We have been busy shouting about our fantastic new models and fabrics in recent weeks across our social media platforms. Below is some of the great feedback we have been receiving from both within the industry and end consumers.
We have also had some positive coverage within the trade press regarding our sponsorship of local schools for the Furniture Makers' Company School Design Prize. More on this in the following weeks...
And because March was National Bed Month, we ran a weekly campaign to promote our current and new range of bed frames.
So if you are not already following us on Twitter and Instagram please do and keep up to date with all the latest news and goings on at Whitemeadow!
Beds: Best Sellers and ones to look out for in 2018
To celebrate National Bed Month, we’re taking a look at some of our popular upholstered bed frames, and ones to watch out for in 2018, all hand crafted in our Nottinghamshire factories.
Why are our bed frames so good?
Using the same innovative approach, skill and craftsmanship we put into our sofas, Whitemeadow are proud to offer an extensive selection of upholstered bed frames that your customers are guaranteed to fall in love with.
Knowing that the finer detail is in the finishing touch to any product design, whether it be a particular style of stitching, buttoning, piping or feet, we have the skill and expertise to apply finishing flourishes. We aren’t limited to a particular style of handwriting either when it comes to product design, we’re determined to push the boundaries. So rather than producing a singular structured house style, we offer design styles appealing to a wide spectrum of customers, from pure contemporary, through to modern and traditional. We also understand how important great fabric is, so we only source fabrics from the finest mills in the world, and that pass our rigorous testing procedures.
Top selling models
The epitome of sophistication, Kensington is a grand, opulent design featuring a winged frame, which creates a strong presence in any bedroom. Available in a choice of colours, it is perfect for either a glamourous, modern classic interior or country chic style.
Kingsbury features the distinctive curved profiles to its side rails and head & footboards, typically associated with the Sleigh Bed style found throughout history. Refined and timeless, the design is unashamedly opulent whilst retaining a Grande stately presence. The headboard & footboard features Whitemeadow’s trademark deep buttoning detail.
Recently released- models to watch out for
Launched in summer last year, these models are now on shop floors and performing very well across a selection of retailers.
Distinctive in nature, the Brixton bed frame is designed to project a super luxe, contemporary look which demands attention. Effectively demonstrating the workmanship and detail we have become known for, the deep buttoning detail creates a super soft, luxurious and inviting look.
Another new model to watch out for is the Ralph. An outstanding model which combines the very best of individuality in design and style, whilst still offering superior comfort. Features include a graceful curved wing profile and deep buttoned single width headboard pillow. The headboard features a removable pillow designed for sitting up in bed and relaxing.
Brand new for SS18
For the first time in our history, we were proud to have a dedicated bed stand at the January Furniture Show, where we launched a selection of brand new models for Spring/Summer ’18.
Among those was the Ellen bed frame. Inspired by French provisional design, Ellen is a modern update based on the classically elegant proportions and shape of this style of design, and was presented in Lumino Turquoise, a new fabric for 2018. The frame has been finished to offer a softer padded feel, combined with a cleaner look for a fresh feel based on a classic personality, something which is bang on trend with consumers.
A stunningly clean style, Loretta’s single most distinctive feature is its deep ledge frame finished with crisp mitre detailing where the side rails link to the front rails. This contemporary style is again carried through with the use of sleek metal legs. Loretta was presented in a super soft velvet that has a digitally printed marble effect pattern running throughout the fabric. Through the use of panelled stitch detailing to the headboard, this creates the impression of a leather look, however with all the warmth and softness of leather.
Louis is another all new model which combines elegant modern lines with sumptuous detailing and deep buttoning to the headboard. This design blends the very best of contemporary trends with grown up glamour. Presented in a new colourway of Navy, as part of our highly successful Shetland fabric range, combined with brass tipped turned legs, the model looks stunning and glamorous.
For further details on all of the above and the rest of our range, please contact your dedicated Sales Manager.
Top Bedroom Interior Trends to look out for in 2018
To celebrate National Bed Month this March, we're taking a look at what will be popular in the world of bedroom interiors this year, and how you can offer your customers the look they want.
All is Quiet, all is Calm
Bedrooms are more than just a place to sleep, they are our sanctuaries, a place to relax and switch off from the busy world outside. Never more so have consumers yearned for a calm and nurturing space from their bedrooms, and with Dulux releasing their soothing colour of the year- Heart Wood, you can expect to see an increase in demand for bedding, lighting and accessories that reflect this need for rest and quietude. With that in mind, our designers have worked on bed frame designs that will appeal to consumers looking for exactly this. The Milan bed frame offers an intelligently designed frame and interior, so it feels and appears as the epitome of comfort, a pillow. Minimal use of timber on the headboard and a flange edge creates a fresh, soft and luxurious look and feel. And new for this year is the Dolly fabric in Cream, just to add to the cosiness of the look!
A Lust for Luxury
We have certainly seen a significant increase in the demand for upholstered bed frames in velvet fabrics over the past couple of seasons, and 2018 will be no different. The consumer’s desire for a decadent and super-luxe look shows no sign of abating, and there is now a strong move towards display models made up in velvets. These fabrics cross over to many styles, from traditional styles such as the Kensington (below) to the contemporary Brixton.
The botanical interiors theme has been gaining pace throughout the home recently and 2018 looks to be the year it reaches our bedrooms too! We noticed at the January Furniture Show a significant amount of botanical inspired interiors and fabrics that were used on everything from sofas, bed frames and chairs to curtains and rugs. To introduce this look in store, try a display model made up in a botanical inspired fabric such as the Stockholm in Marinello Olive.
The Scandi trend is one that has been around for a while, but with so many ways to use this style it is one that is set to stay popular. Inspired by this look and with a tasteful nod to the contemporary, Southbank was released mid 2017 and is gaining momentum on shop floors. The model features the unique blend of smooth woven fabric for the frame and headboard, mixed with the quilted version of the same fabric for a strong, on trend look.
Jewel in the Crown
For a contemporary twist, and to add a bit of drama to a room, consumers this year will also look towards adding rich tones such as emerald and sapphire to their colour palettes. One model that stood out from the crowd at the January Furniture Show for us was the Ellen bed, displayed in the new Lumino Turquoise fabric. This looks set to be a top seller and many customers have ordered it the stunning jewel tone it was display in.
To view our full range of upholstered bed frames, log in or sign up for a trade account, exclusive for Whitemeadow customers.
Top trends spotted at the January Furniture Show
We kicked the new year off in style by attending one of the country’s largest and most important furniture shows at Birmingham’s NEC – the January Furniture Show.
Launching our brand new bed stand, and bringing some of our latest designs along, the show provided the perfect opportunity for us to launch our Spring/Summer 2018 upholstery collection and get valuable feedback from leading UK retailers.
It also allowed us to get a sneak peek of what to expect from the world of furniture this year. From industrial accents, to edgy, geometric prints, here’s some of the top trends we spotted at the JFS 2018….
Show Some Leg
Tapered legs continue to appear across all kinds of furniture. From upstanding sofas, coffee tables and even beds, retro angled legs are delicately shaped to appeal to modern audiences. The style helps to create the look of space in a room by letting light travel around furnishings, ideal for open plan living, as highlighted here beautifully by the new Alfie Chair from the Content by Terence Conran range.
The Tweed Evolution
Tweed will no longer be classed as an old man’s fabric, as the Scottish style returns. Sofas are making the best use of the fabric, creating statement pieces for contemporary, country styles that can be dressed up and down with different pattern cushions and textures. The Aster corner sofa in new fabric Aspen Mustard was very well received by many visitors to our stand.
The plush revolution continues as velvet adorned most pieces at the show. The lavishly soft fabric covered bed frames and sofas, in shades of deep greys and blue, with some pieces displaying intricate button tufting for added luxe, targeting a younger audience. Our brand new Ellen bed was one of the stars of the show, displayed in new fabric Lumino Turquoise.
Sofas and beds are going into the deep, with dark shades of blue injecting rich opulence into pieces, from luxurious dressing chairs to classic chaise lounges, perfect for the warmer, brighter months and the fashion conscious. Another new model, Boston, in Plush Indigo, worked beautifully with our new scatter cushion fabric, Nevado Indigo.
A Dash of Mustard
With the ultra-fashionable mustard taking centre stage this year, a splash of colour has been injected into the season. Mustard helps to add texture to pieces, as well as being subtly threaded through fabrics to suit those less adventurous. We really went to town on the Whitemeadow upholstery stand, injecting splashes of colour on the walls and through accessories to compliment the ranges.
Geometric patterns are using the seasons most popular shades to create bold, statement pieces of on-trend furniture. Appealing to whole host of audiences, there’s a pattern to suit anyone’s tastes. We love the Andrew Martin fabrics we used to create an 'Antique Explorer' theme in our central room on the stand.
Laying in Luxury
Luxurious, plush and velour are the three words to be associated with beds. Huge, caved, bed stands coated in luxurious velvet add glamour, working to create stand-out pieces, while some styles opt for a rolled, Chesterfield style foot for a classic, understated look. The new Louis bed blends the very best of contemporary design with grown up glamour, presented at the show in new Shetland Navy fabric.
Many thanks to all customers who paid a visit to the Whitemeadow Stands this year, we look forward to delivering your new floor displays over the coming months.
Keep up to date with where we’ll be heading next and all other Whitemeadow Furniture updates by following us on social, and view our show video below!
Gearing up for our Best January Furniture Show Yet!
It’s that time of year again and we are busy working away preparing for what we believe will be our best January Furniture Show yet! So, with this in mind we thought we’d give you an insight into how some of our team members are preparing for the big event….
Paul Ainley, Design Director
“The run up to the January Furniture Show is without doubt our busiest- and arguably most exciting time of the year. Everyone in the department is conditioned to work at a very fast pace –it is a very thorough and prolific department, but that doesn’t mean we don’t put in long hours to make sure our designs are the very best they can be. If a rival company comes out with a better fabric or design than us then I feel as sick as a dog, so it’s worth the effort! We’ll be working right up to the show to ensure the products are our most inspiring to date".
Darren Nicholson, Sales Manager
“Originally coming from a design background, I find this time of year really exciting as I get to work more closely with the design team regarding the development of products and fabric stories for the show. At the moment I’m compiling the product information for each model which will be the basis for the sales team familiarising themselves with each design, this helps to clarify the products’ style, features and benefits, as well as price points. The NEC is incredibly important in providing us with a great opportunity to get in front of all our major accounts, whilst attracting new customers. The show is a platform for allowing us to demonstrate how wide a spectrum of design styles we have available and why we are one of the leaders in the industry today”.
Hannah Evans, Fabric Selector
“For me this is definitely the busiest time of the year, but it’s also the most exciting! As the Fabric Selector it is my responsibility to source new fabrics for the models on display at the show, bringing together the latest trends in fabric and colour and collating these into the fabric stories you see on the stand. I also work with the sales and marketing team on the layout of the stand to ensure that the stand design compliments the products and fabrics we are using. This will be my third January Furniture Show and I think this year will be our best yet. It’s also an opportunity to network with new and existing suppliers, I always come away with new ideas and inspiration ready for the next project!”
Jack Duffell, Designer
“The focus of my work is on our upholstered bed frame collection so this year’s show for me in particular is going to be really exciting with the brand new dedicated bed stand. We’ve got some great new designs, and some amazing new fabrics on our bestselling ranges, so make sure you come along to the new stand to find out more! This will be my first year on the stand full time so I’m looking forward to engaging with our customers directly.”
Zehra Gezer, Marketing Manager
“This will be my first January Furniture Show but the planning of this has given me a great insight into the hard work and organisation that goes into it. It is a real team effort with members from our transport, sales, and design and development teams working together to pull off this huge logistical operation! My involvement has seen me working closely with the JFS team- particularly in relation to the website content, the stand builders and planning the social media campaign activity in the run-up and during the show itself. I’m really looking forward to meeting our customers and talking about our products and plans for the future”.
Top Interior Trends to Watch Out for in 2018
When it comes to interior design, fashionable trends can come and go in the blink of an eye. Although the world of interior design moves fast, some trends are more than temporary phases.
They influence the way people see their perfect home, giving people the vision and products that will play an important role in their living spaces for years to come. At Whitemeadow, we manufacture a huge variety of product styles, giving you unrivalled choice and the chance to give your customers the exact piece they need to finish their look.
To help keep you in the loop, here’s our guide to which 2018 interior design trends to watch out for:
Ever since Dulux announced Denim Drift as their colour of the year in 2017, blue tones have been sweeping through the design world. And it’s set to continue in 2018.
Denim Drift is a versatile grey-blue colour that takes on different characteristics depending on how it’s used. It’s influenced endless combinations between bolder, striking colours and muted, lighter shades of blue, creating interesting balances of colour throughout the room.
With this colour trend, blue furniture is a must-have for your customers. Whether your customers use a vibrant or bold centerpiece or subtler shades for a more understated look, blue tones are guaranteed to match their dream design.
To see for yourself how we are using blue tones in 2018, be sure to pop over to the Whitemeadow stand where we will exhibiting our brand new models in the latest fabrics.
Bring the outdoors inside
One trend that isn’t going anywhere this year is to bring the outdoors inside.
With elements of nature and potted plants (or even faux plants, for those that don't possess green fingers) throughout the room, this trend is a fantastic way of bringing new life into your home.
To really set the design off, sofas in sumptuous browns or rich emerald tones make the perfect focal point in this trend, like the Haddon, above, in Holm Olive. Complementing the plants, these colours will really tie together the nature theme of the room which your customers won’t be able to resist. The botanical theme will be playing a large part in our stand at the January Furniture Show later this moth, so be sure to come along!
As vintage styles find their way into the design world, velvet upholstery is making a big comeback.
Velvet is a unique fabric that gives colours a rich and textured tone you can’t get anywhere else. Paired with warm colours such as burnt orange or deep cranberry, velvet upholstery provides texture, warmth and comfort with a luxurious feeling.
Adding an extra bit of glitz and glamour to the room, this trend will continue to rise in popularity throughout 2018. Discover how we are using exquisite new velvets with our new upholstery and bed collections at the January Furniture show later this month.
Textures make rooms feel more alive. Shying away from the cold minimalist look, textures help to convey elements of cosiness, warmth and depth, making them perfect for the winter months.
Although velvet is a popular choice, textures are shown through a rise in leather, suede and classic diamond buttoning in upholstery.
Houndstooth has been a hot trend on the cat walks and high streets in recent seasons, and we see no sign of that changing any time soon! The heritage-inspired print has appeared everywhere from skirts and shoes to curtains and cushions, but we believe our Enzo sofa collection in houndstooth makes an eye-catching and super-stylish addition to any home. The print adds depth, giving the illusion of a bigger space, so is great for large and small rooms alike. If black and white is too overwhelming for your customer, steer them in the direction of the more neutral houndstooth fabric colours such as stone or grey. It also has the ability to compliment many colours, making it an extremely versatile print.
For more details, visit our stand at the January Furniture show where the Enzo will be showcased.
At Whitemeadow, our products are ever changing and evolving. We not only keep up-to-date with current design trends, but help shape them by staying one step ahead. We give your business the latest trends with high-quality British made products, providing you with only the best for your customers. Make sure you visit the Whitemeadow upholstery and bed stands at the January Furniture Show 2018 ( Hall 1 F40 & G21) to see some of these trends brought to life!
AW17 New Product Photography Now Available
Following the huge success of our new AW17 product launches at the Manchester Show over the summer, we are happy to announce that all product imagery is now available to view and download from the customer portal area of the website. Log in to your account to access images, or sign up if you do not already have an account.
Whitemeadow Named in LSEG ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Europe’ List
We are delighted to announce that Whitemeadow have been identified as one of the London Stock Exchange Group’s '1000 Companies to Inspire Europe'. The report is a celebration of the most dynamic small and medium sized businesses across Europe, and follows our inclusion in the '1000 Companies to Inspire Britain' 2015.
To be included in the list, companies needed to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their country peers. More detail on the methodology can be found in the report online at www.1000companies.com.
Whitemeadow Managing Director Ian Oscroft commented “We are delighted to have been included within the list of 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe. We have a simple ethos and vision within the business to achieve a high level of value and quality for our customers whilst maintaining a healthy and thriving business for our employees. We are now at the forefront of upholstery manufacturing within the marketplace and have become a well-respected supplier to our many customers.”
We look forward to sharing this news within the industry and with our customers in the coming weeks!
Whitemeadow Wins The Furniture Makers’ Company Football Cup
Furnishing industry employees from around the UK descended upon Coventry for the fifth annual Sealy Cup five-a-side football tournament in aid of The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity.
Whitemeadow entered 3 teams into the 5-a-side Football Tournament for the first time, with high hopes of bringing home the silverware.
There was fierce competition within the tournament, with Lebus, Celtheath, Hypnos and Designer Contracts being some of the teams to compete against.
After a tough group stage, the Whitemeadow Wanderers and Warriors both made it through to the Semi-Finals, to play against each other, with the Wanderers coming out on top.
That set up the final, Whitemeadow Wanderers V Lebus Upholstery, with Lebus having won every game prior.
After going up 3-0, the Wanderers were cruising to victory, but quickly conceded 2 goals which led to a nerve-racking final few minutes.
After a hard fought battle, the boys managed to hold out and secure a 3-2 victory to take home the trophy!
Not only did Whitemeadow win the overall tournament, but Aaron Cann (Wizards) also won Player of the Tournament, so even more silverware to take home.
A great day overall, a huge thank you to The Furniture Makers’ Company and Cabinet Maker for organsing and sponsoring the event.
The trophy will be proudly displayed at Whitemeadow HQ.
See you again next year!
New Product Photography Released
Following the launch of our brand new SS17 Collection we now have all of the product photography available.
The images will very soon be uploaded on to our customer portal, and include the very popular Franklin & Lola ranges, alongside all of the Content by Terrence Conran product ranges.
Log in to your online account for access to the images!
Whitemeadow Partners Content By Terence Conran
PRESS RELEASE FROM CONTENT BY TERENCE CONRAN
We were thrilled to exhibit at the January Furniture Show this year, returning to the show after a five year haitus. We launched the +plus Collection, a collaboration between the well established upholstery manufacturers Whitemeadow, and the Content by Terence Conran brand, with a collection comprising of 5 unique designs.
The five upholstery styles were designed by the Conran team in collaboration with Whitemeadow, with each model having a particular style and point of difference, with the hope that this offers all customers something, whatever their style may be.
Taking inspiration from a broad range of styles from mid-century to Scandinavian, the collection combines a highly affordable offer with well designed pieces, with quality and comfort at the forefront of the collection.
Whitemeadow Launches Upholstery Design Award 2017
The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, and Whitemeadow Upholstery are delighted to announce the launch of the first-ever Whitemeadow Upholstery Design Award for 2017.
The new award, which was launched on Monday 30 January 2017, will ask students to design a commercial upholstery range of sofas or chairs for the home, focusing on excellence in design, materials, craftsmanship and function.
The competition is open to any product design or furniture design student over the age of 18 in full time education at any college or university in the UK.
The winner will be offered a paid work placement within Whitemeadow’s busy design department at its base in Sutton In Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, where they’ll receive insight into the practical side of upholstery design and manufacture.
Ben Burbidge, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “As the furnishing industry’s charity, we want to encourage new talent to enter our industry and have put in place an extensive education programme to help create a powerful workforce for the future.
“We would like to thank Whitemeadow for sponsoring this new award, which will challenge young people to think both creatively and commercially, and for offering such a fantastic prize to the winner.”
Ian Oscroft, Managing Director at Whitemeadow, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with The Furniture Makers’ Company, our industry’s charity, on this new award. There is a wealth of talent out there and we’re excited to see what the students can design.
“We know that to ensure Whitemeadow stays at the forefront of the industry, we need to continually bring fresh new designs to the market and to that end we encourage a working climate for inspiration. We look forward to welcoming the eventual winner and helping them develop as a designer.”
The deadline for entries is Friday 14 April 2017.
The information pack and application form is available by emailing Damilola Bamidele: email@example.com.
January Furniture Show 2017
For the third consecutive year, Whitemeadow attended one of this country’s largest and singularly most important furniture shows at the NEC - JFS 2017.
The show provided us with the backdrop in which to launch of our Spring/Summer 2017 upholstery collection with a number of significant and very positive surprises for the trade to witness and secure orders against.
One of our surprises to the trade was the association with Content by Terence Conran, a design-led brand famous for their owner’s reputation as one of this country’s most successful entrepreneurs and designers; Sir Terence Conran.
We presented four designs among an array of complimentary accent pieces from their collection. This certainly caught the attention of retailers which reflected in the number of orders placed for this upholstery collection, from both established and new accounts.
It was pleasing to hear our customers commenting that we had some of the strongest and most comprehensive design styles at show, with the quilted, multi coloured ‘Tutti Frutti’ range generating much interest.
Other models which courted a strong order book and positive reaction included our ocean themed, Bossanova, Alongside a myriad of new models such as Malvern, our classy scrolled arm model, Lola, our more compact transitional product with a fresh floral fabric story, and Lyon in Marine Teal and contrastic bold geometrics, taking a nod at American sixties styling.
Many thanks to all customers who paid a visit to the Whitemeadow Stand this year, we look forward to delivering your new floor displays over the coming months.
Next Stop – The Manchester Furniture Show, July for the Autumn/Winter 17 collection.
Whitemeadow Launches Content Plus Range by Terence Conran
There are not many designers who the broader public would be familiar with, like they are with Sir Terence Conran, one of this country’s leading furniture designers. With an illustrious career spanning nearly six decades he embodies an entrepreneurial spirit, intrinsically woven with creativity.
Whitemeadow is proud to have developed an all new Content Plus range of upholstery with the Content by Terence Conran team. The range has been developed to embody the design style and detailing central to Sir Terence Conran’s design philosophy.
As a result, models like Aster retain a sense of clarity, with clean fluid lines and subtle detailing throughout. The model features a distinctive front plinth with integrated turned legs made from oak, available in a number of finishes.
Other designs within the range include Isla, a model which retains a sense of luxury at the heart of this design, in part thanks to its velvet cover story. Detailing again plays a valuable part such as buttoned back cushions, beautifully finished slim leg profiles, available in an inspired range of metal and wood finishes.
As with all pieces within Content by Terence Conran range, its influences hark back to the modern design movement of the 1960’s, of which Sir Terence Conran played a significant and influential part of.
So why not see more of the exclusive to Whitemeadow, Content Plus collection at this year’s January Furniture Show as part of the Whitemeadow Stand, in Hall 1, Stand F40.
Whitemeadow to Launch New Designs at JFS 2017
It’s always an exhilarating time prior to launching new product ranges at a forthcoming trade show, in particular we look forward to the January Furniture Show at the NEC . JFS 2017 is the largest show of the year, with anyone and everyone within the furniture and interior industry set to attend.
Images of the Whitemeadow Stand JFS 2016
All of the most reputable companies and brands across numerous product categories including upholstery, cabinet and beds will be presenting their new collections to the trade. For the third year in a row Whitemeadow will be located at our usual spot in Hall 1, Stand F40.
After the initial set-up week, where all exhibitors meticulously prepare and perfect their stands, the show officially opens on Sunday 22nd January through to Wednesday 25th January.
Whitemeadow will once again be proudly presenting our SS17 collection of exciting new designs and fabrics – A window of inspiration to the trade which has proven to be successful for us over recent years.
With months of hard work by all parties involved, the sense of pride in representing the company and its products at such a show is tangible, providing all sales managers with the necessary shot of energy and drive to secure as much business as possible.
The January Furniture Show provides an outstanding window of opportunity and inspiration for buyers, both current and new, playing a significant part in setting us up for the year ahead.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Whitemeadow Visits MoOD Show, Brussels
Here at Whitemeadow we look forward to the annual trip to Brussels to one of the major trade shows in our calendar, MoOD. Visiting rather than exhibiting, this trip is often a catalyst for the new fabric trends to make their way into our ranges.
This year saw the show move from its long standing home to a new, fresh environment. Having had a quick google as to what we could expect, it was safe to say that we were slightly wary of the so called ‘sheds’. Arriving at the show we were pleasantly surprised. Apart from being slightly warm (the air-con was broken and Brussels was experiencing a heat wave), the halls were light and airy allowing the fabrics to be showcased to their best potential.
Walking around the show the stands were smaller than before but it didn’t mean that the offerings were limited, from your basic plain fabrics to sumptuous velvets, there was plenty to explore. It became clear that digital printing onto all types of fabrics was something that a lot of suppliers for the upholstery sector are experimenting with, achieving varying degrees of success. Some of the most interesting we saw are pictured below.
We also saw a resurgence in more natural looking fabrics. Chunky plains with the desired natural look but the performance characteristics of synthetics. These were often paired with accent fabrics covered in plant and flower motifs, a trend that has worked its way into the interior market from women’s fashion.
Whitemeadow source fabrics from all corners of the world which means it can sometimes be difficult to see all fabrics when they are still new. Having the majority of our main suppliers under one roof means that we can contrast and compare and choose the best fabrics for any projects we are working on. It also gives us the opportunity to find brand new suppliers that we may not have seen before enabling us to offer our customers something new and exciting.
Overall, an interesting show with some lovely new fabrics which we hope to present to you very soon. See you again next year MoOD.