Here at House of Coco we have the pleasure of interviewing business owners from around the world and one thing that is a running theme is that they always
June 17th, 2022
Here at House of Coco we have the pleasure of interviewing business owners from around the world and one thing that is a running theme is that they always wish they started their business sooner. That was no different for Ananth Murthy, co-founder of The Timbermaker.
We spent some time with him to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand, The TimberMaker…
Having worked in the public sector for nearly 13 years I moved to work in the private sector in 2019 for London’s largest owner-operator hotel management company to lead on hotel refurbishment projects. This is where I came across several furniture suppliers in the B2B space, however some of the prices were eye wateringly high for the quality being produced.
This piqued my interest to do a bit more research in the B2C segment where it was a similar story. It was a crowded marketplace with mass-producers of boring furniture made either from MDF or Engineered wood or a combination of solid & MDF wood. While I was in the researching phase the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic & I was made redundant in early 2020.
With my wife heavily pregnant with our second daughter I interviewed for several companies to get back into a job. During this time we were also decorating our eldest daughter’s room & I had ordered a few bits of furniture such as a bunk bed, study table etc. & not only were they expensive but when they arrived I ended up spending 2 days putting them together. They were of extremely cheap quality MDF material & within months they started to fall apart.
This is when I said “never again” to MDF or engineered wood furniture & set out to start my own sustainable & handcrafted solid wood furniture company The TimberMaker in late 2020.
Where did your love and interest of furniture come from?
My wife & I have always been house-proud & therefore when we’re looking for furniture & home furnishing we look for something that is different, quirky & on trend but the market in this segment of handcrafted furniture makers is quite small & if you want sustainably handcrafted limited edition solid wood furniture it is even smaller & often quite expensive making it hard for a lot of potential customers to get their hands on.
I recognized this gap in the market & wanting to make handcrafted solid wood & bespoke furniture more accessible to customers I set up The TimberMaker
How do you want people to feel when they buy you furniture?
We’re not mass producers, we are a design-led atelier where we handcraft each piece in-house & provide customers not just with furniture for them to purchase but for them to proudly own, cherish & make a part of their home & memories for years to come!
All our furniture is designed in our atelier in Jodhpur, India where our exceptionally talented artisans handcraft each piece with the same attention to detail as the other so that we can bring them to customers to enjoy & make it a part of their life, home & memories for years to come. Since we use sustainable natural solid wood our customers can be as close to nature as possible in their own home as they can feel the natural grain & texture of the wood. We want our furniture not just to be a piece but a part of their home which lives with them.
Each of our product design is bespoke & made in limited qualities (no more than 30-50 pieces each) so when our customers buy our products they can be proud of their furniture & show off.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?
I wish I had launched my brand sooner so that I could have given the customers what they want and were looking for a lot earlier than 2020/21!
Who’s involved in the business and what are their roles?
The TimberMaker is currently led by myself & my business partner Vineet as co-founders with Vineet taking on the responsibilities of production, quality control, finance & logistics & with me being responsible for the creative direction, growing the brand, marketing, business development & expansion strategies.
Vineet is based in India where we have our own studio & employ our highly skilled artisans from rural communities. Once our furniture has been handcrafted we ship them over to the UK & warehouse it in Kent ready for delivery to our customers.
I’m based in Danbury in Essex where I often meet with private clients, interior designers & other businesses in person to represent The TimberMaker
It is because of this set up we are able to have direct line of sight & control over the quality of our furniture as we don’t rely on third party suppliers of furniture makers.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
As a co-founder of a start-up & a small business I often have to wear multiple hats so no two days are the same for me. One day I’m working on new concept designs for our next batch of furniture & another day I’m creating posts, stories & reels for social media which is a vital part of our marketing efforts since we’re online only.
On other days I am networking with small business owners locally in Essex to learn from them & share my knowledge.
What do you do when you are lacking creativity?
I don’t design our furniture just from a practical perspective, I look at how I can enhance the aesthetics of a space our furniture will live in so that the customer enjoys our product each day so from that perspective I’m always looking at providing our customers with something that is practical, comfortable & aesthetically pleasing. This is one of my main driving factors when it comes to creativity.
Another thing I always make sure I do every day is look at my competitors websites & stories or press releases as to what they are doing/ or not doing. This gives me motivation & gets my creative juices flowing for ideas on how I can differentiate my brand & product offering to those of my competitors.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Since we are currently an online only/ e-commerce led brand, digital presence it extremely vital for The TimberMaker. We’re on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google & even on LinkedIn. Therefore social media plays a really big role in the success of our brand.
Another important factor about our presence on Social Media is that we are able to connect with our customers & followers directly from far and wide to showcase our products as we deliver all across the UK.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on your must visit list?
Of around 25+ countries I’ve visited over the last 12 years, Costa Rica & Norway are right up there as 1 & 2 must visit places. Its filled with endless scenic trails & both the countries have gone out of their way to preserve the natural beauty & the environment & the people are so sustainability conscious that it is ingrained into their nature.
Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
In 5 years I see The TimberMaker selling across the EU & be considered as one of the preferred handcrafted & bespoke furniture makers in the UK
Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.