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This is my Office: Matt & Kellye Coffyn

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From lofty studios to artisan kitchens, from a desk in a spare room to a chair in a tattoo studio, there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ office for the host of creatives that we’re lucky enough to work with on a daily basis.

 

Our ‘This is my Office’ series aims to shine a spotlight on some of these talented individuals whilst satisfying the nosy parker side that lurks within us all.

 

First up on our hit list are Matt and Kellye Coffyn, the brains behind handmade furniture and accessories brand Coffyn. We met up at with them at their workshop in Leeds to get to know them better and  see where the magic happens.

Coffyn, Furniture, craft, Leeds, Awesome Merchandise

We found the husband and wife team in their workshop on one of their “skill swap” days, with Kellye taking charge of an intimidating looking power tool, as Matt proudly showed off the tote bag he’d made with his new found sewing skills.

 

With the bank of four sewing machines currently residing in the couples spare room, out of the way of the dusty woodwork, we caught them on one of the rarer days that the two are here together.

 

“Normally we’ll get up because the dogs are barking, we’ll have some coffee and hang out for a bit. That’s the best part of working for ourselves, not having to rush off in the morning,” explains Matt.

 

“I come down here to crack on with whatever large products need to be worked on and Kellye does the soft furnishings and smaller stuff at home.”

It’s clear from talking to the pair that, like with most creative outputs, there is no “typical day” in the life of a furniture maker. One day a rush job may mean Matt staying in the workshop until three in the morning, others a trip out together to get fabric samples and inspiration. However, Kellye admits that they can both forget to give themselves time away from the company.

 

“Knowing that there’s always someone waiting for something, there’s always something that’s got to be made does put pressure on to work long hours but at the same time we still need to have time off. We try to take a Tuesday off but we have been bad at realising that we haven’t had a day off in two weeks.”

As a newbie to the furniture making scene (they only got the keys to their workspace in December last year) they are grateful of being so busy so soon, but even for them the transition from side project to full time job was quicker then expected.

 

“It wasn’t something we were expecting. We weren’t planning to do it full time for a long time. It was just one of those things where we suddenly realised that we were getting enough commissions that we could. It was a really organic changeover. That way we felt a lot less pressure because it wasn’t like we had this grand plan to start a business.”

 

Like most start-ups, the first few commissions came about through word of mouth from friends and family but social media and gaining exposure at craft fairs have helped to push their name out to a wider audience.

“Northern Craft helped a lot. We got so into the making side that we weren’t doing the promotional things, so it was really helpful for that.”

 

This first step into marketing also taught them both a valuable lesson. Bigger isn’t always better. With a lot of the items they considered being small, actually seeming quite big to an audience who want to be able to pick something up and take it away in a tote bag. However, their enamel pins, design by Drew Millward went down a treat and they did pick up commissions off the back of the event which are being whipped up in their workspace.

 

“Next time we’ll probably make a table to set up our small stuff on and maybe just have a brochure for the little things.” says Kellye.

Northern Craft, craft, Craft Fair, creative, tips

So what are the next steps for this creative couple? Well, after they’ve personally dropped off a shelving unit at it’s new home in London, their longer term plans revolve around finding a space big enough for them to work together. As Matt puts it, “ We didn’t do this not to spend time with each other.”

 

Follow the pair on their journey into furniture making over on their Instagram page.

Northern Ink, Awesome Merchandise, Northern Craft, Leeds, Leeds Tattoo Expo
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