A frustrating search for the perfect desk has given an East Midlands entrepreneur the inspiration for his latest business.
Guy Collins, Managing Director of £45m industrial and controls specialist BPX, has joined forces with local craftsman Ian Howick to launch Bridgford Furniture, a specialist in creating bespoke furniture with a difference.
The duo has spent the last three years designing, testing and creating the world’s first signature desk that electronically rises up and down, yet importantly retains the classical look and feel demanded by high-net-worth individuals, corporate offices and luxury hotels.
Blending precise technology with sleek and elegant design, the Bridgford desk can be controlled by an app and features wireless ‘in-grain’ charging, hidden USB ports, memory settings to accommodate different users and a modesty panel that can be personalised to the setting.
Over £60,000 and thousands of hours of development time have been channelled into the project, with the company setting its sights on producing more than 50 individual models in 2022.
“It is widely acknowledged that sitting at a standard desk for a long period of time is not good for you and a combination of this, and an earlier cricket career, had given me persistent back pain,” explained Guy Collins.
“I scoured the market – first in the UK and then across the world – for a piece of furniture that offers adjustable height settings and, whilst there are a number of these, they all looked quite standard and would look more in place in a call centre than an office.”
He continued: “Immediately, I could see there was a gap in the marketplace. However, I’m not a craftsman so a chance meeting with Ian enabled me to take an idea and turn it into a business creating luxury desks that incorporate the latest technology to deliver the best of both worlds.
“It has been a very long journey and many prototypes have been made and cast aside as we’ve pursued what we believe is now the perfect desk.”
Handmade in a factory nestled in the shadow of Robin Hood’s Forest, the Bridgford desk focuses on combining health and innovation with the creation of a luxury product that triggers conversation and people are proud to own.
Starting at £16,000 and rising to £22,000 depending on customisation, the desks can be lowered and raised to accommodate all working heights and can be made in four real wood finishes, including walnut, ebony macassar, silver ripple and, Guy’s favourite, British Blue.
Customers can create their own unique desks, working with designers to sketch-out their own features and styles, with the firm happy to explore additional technologies, colours and, within reason, shapes.
Guy went on to add: “Each one takes two and half months to produce from the minute we start the initial sketch, but the result will take your breath away.
“We are getting plenty of interest from high-net-worth individuals, corporates, luxury hotels, sporting clubs and sportspeople, who want to own something that nobody else has.
“The Middle East could be a big market and we’ve already been told by investors that we might have to come up with a ‘gold version’.”
Bridgford Furniture has plans to achieve £1m of sales in 2022 and this will involve doubling the workforce to eight people.
Guy concluded: “This will never be a massive company, churning out average products – instead, we want the ‘Bridgford’ name to be revered for its British craftsmanship and its British innovation.”