Today I’d like to share another exciting design find with you guys and this one is a lovely new company that has sprung up recently in Devon. Vincent Trading is run by Emma and Mike who make and sell beautiful handmade and reclaimed wooden items alongside beautiful gifts and homewares. Based by the sea in Salcombe, Vincent Trading aims to create timeless pieces that will last generations and save a few trees along the way.
I first came across Emma when I stumbled upon her blog back in January. I was extremely excited to find another blogger so close to home who shared my passion for interiors. I’ve followed her for the best part of a year and was delighted when I heard about her new venture. I wanted to find out more about it as soon as I saw all the lovely photography (Emma is a photographer so no surprise there) of the beautifully crafted products. I thought you might appreciate an interview with Emma Vincent of Vincent Trading.
Can you tell us a little about yourselves and your backgrounds?
Mike and I are a husband and wife team. Mike has been a joiner for over 12 years. He trained at a high-end carpentry workshop where he worked on some pretty big houses with some famous faces inside. He decided to make the move to becoming self-employed at the end of 2017, unsure at the time whether he would continue to make traditional carpentry items or move into homewares, which was actually my dream! Vincent Trading has grown so quickly, he currently doesn’t have any time to work on anything else.
After getting a business management degree, I got my dream job in employee engagement and HR. However, five years down the line, I decided it wasn’t creative enough and left to find a different life path. I have since set up a photography business but always dreamed of having a homewares brand. Mike was pulled on board and here we are today!
Have you always lived in Devon?
No, neither of us are actually from Devon, although my Dad was born here. Mike and I grew up in The Cotswolds where we met at school. We moved to Devon in 2016 after my parents made the move in 2010. Mike was a little more hesitant than I was but neither of us have looked back.
What do you like most about living and working in Devon?
Devon is a completely different lifestyle from The Cotswolds, it’s such a tight knit community, everyone is there for everyone else. The summers are long and you can head to the beach whenever you get a spare moment, the winters are quiet and perfect for cosy evening dinners, although our order books are getting fuller and fuller in the run up to Christmas. It looks like we are set for a busy one!
When did Mike first discover his love of woodwork and how did he know he wanted to make a career out of it?
Mike spent many hours as a child helping his Dad in his garage workshop, watching him create and learning the basics. It seemed a natural step to take his apprenticeship with a local company, and they taught him traditional joinery and worked with him to ensure quality over quantity. Each piece he creates for Vincent Trading is lovingly handmade and finished to an exceptional standard.
Can you tell us about Vincent Trading and how it all started?
It all started with our tray, we had a bunch of handles leftover from a utility room Mike had built. I wanted to create something using reclaimed wood and I really love a good tray. It started out with a scaffold board but it was just too chunky and heavy, so we picked up a pallet and started designing. We added a little lip around the edge to stop things sliding off and popped it on Etsy. It sold instantly, and then carried on selling. Next came the choppers then the benches.
We started doing some local pop-ups and I built us a website, they were all selling fast.We decided to take the leap into wholesale and got our first stockist quite quickly. We were then approached by a international hotel group who where creating a new site, and we got the job creating a heap of furniture for them. We are now stocked in a number of independent stores across the UK and are super excited to be going into our first Christmas.
Can you tell us a little bit about the production process of your products?
We create everything in our little workshop overlooking the sea. We are moving to a slightly bigger place in January, but you can still see the sea. Mike works with each piece of wood to sculpt and craft it into something beautiful. Some products require the grain to be brought out, then all are sanded to a smooth finish finally being treated with a hardwax oil, with either food safe or UV protection depending on the intended use of the item. I then package them up with little bows, tissue paper and a thank you note before sending them off to their new homes.
Your products are made from reclaimed wood. How important is it to your business to reuse materials?
I cannot even put into words how important it is for us. We all know that wood comes from trees, but I don’t think we always associate a beautiful tree having to be taken off the earth for us to have something made from wood, removing its ability to improve our air quality and preserve wildlife among a huge list of others reasons why we shouldn’t be cutting trees down. However, trees get cut down, they are a renewable source and at least we aren’t using plastic.
We turned to scaffolding board because they are used just once on many large building sites, they are then often thrown into landfill, left to decay or are burnt. We rescue them by buying them from scaffolding firms and give them a much longer life than they would have originally had. We can therefore bring our wonderful customers beautiful homewares and each time save a tree.
Your products are available to buy online. Do you also have a physical shop?
We don’t have a shop, however, we can often be found popping up at events. Take a look at our events page to see when we might be near you. We are also working on a stockists page, so you can see where you can find a selection of our homewares right across the UK.
What are your long-term goals for Vincent Trading and do you have any exciting plans?
The first stage is to move into a bigger workshop. This will speed the process up for Mike and mean we can offer a bigger product range. We are in fact already working on our SS19 collection which will be launched to the trade market at Top Drawer in January and shortly afterwards to the retail market. We have some super exciting events such as the Country Living show in March and we are building up to a super busy Christmas this year!
Finally, please tell us one thing you would really like your customers to know about Vincent Trading.
We are really passionate about creating high quality items using the most sustainable methods possible. We also really care about our customers so will go above and beyond to ensure each and every product is something we would include in our own home.
So there we are! I hope you enjoyed reading all about Vincent Trading and their beautiful selection of reclaimed wooden items. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!