Christening gift sparks retail idea

Kate Gledhill and Andrew Myford's daughter Phoebe with the Phoebe chair from their range. Below: Kate Gledhill
Kate Gledhill and Andrew Myford's daughter Phoebe with the Phoebe chair from their range. Below: Kate Gledhill
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A CHRISTENING pre-sent set a Calderdale mum on a mission to create bespoke children’s furniture.

The result is the recently-launched website business Gledhill&Co, offering quality armchairs and footstools.

kate gledhill

kate gledhill

Managing director Kate Gledhill, of Lightcliffe, and her partner Andrew Myford have combined their talents to build the business following their daughter’s christening in 2008.

Friends gave the present of a small chair crafted in their own upholstery workshop as a gift.

The chair became a popular topic of conversation and is three-year-old Phoebe’s favourite possession.

Kate, who has a background in marketing and branding, quickly saw a gap in the market when her research revealed nobody offered the same quality children’s furniture. Andrew runs a design and branding consultancy and the couple were galvanised into action.

“We thought we could create a furniture brand and take it to market,” said Kate.

She has passionately spent 18 months researching fabric and assessing business opportunities.

Two styles of chairs, costing over £400, with different leg styles are available along with a footstool.

All are only available online presently and from next year a two seater settee, dressing table and accessories will be added.

There are over 100 fabrics available and potential customers are sent free swatches.

“Our target audience is the home proud and the furniture sits perfectly in lounges, nurseries or playrooms,” she said.

“And, the Christening market is a target for us.

“We have already had some sales and requests for fabric.”

A national promotional campaign is underway and all the furniture is made locally.

There is a risk others could copy the idea but Kate said that is a risk they are prepared to take as they strive to build a quality brand known for good customer service.

“The sky is the limit. We are ambitious and are in love with a great product.”