Overcoming illness a few years ago led to a change in direction for Simon Smith and his wife Kelly, ultimately resulting in this month’s opening of their new business in Laxey.
The Woodsmith furniture studio will be unveiled on September 12 at a preview evening at the Hodgson Loom Gallery.
‘Simon designs artisan furniture,’ said Kelly. ‘About a year or so ago he was making things from driftwood, we had a bumper Christmas as he was making Christmas trees. Off the back of that he has had a couple of commissions already. We decided to go down the route of launching as a business.’
The new workshop and show room is in Quarry Road near the harbour.
‘Before he was having to make stuff at our house, which was driving me nuts,’ said Kelly. ‘It really was a cottage industry! He’ll make anything for people, and there’s a charitable aspect to it too.’
Kelly explained that having had cancer a few years ago, Simon – also a driving instructor – is keen to support the likes of Hospice and Cancer Research.
There will be a prize draw in aid of Hospice at the preview evening, while Simon has donated a prize piece for Hospice’s 30th anniversary ball.
Kelly said: ‘He’s been in remission for a while now. He used to work in financial services, but things like that change your perspective.
‘It’s exciting, but a bit daunting, the self-employed part. It’s a bit of a challenge, but we’re hoping it will take off.’
The couple said care is taken to ensure that no protected varieties of wood, which are becoming increasingly scarce, are used.
‘We’re very aware of our responsibility towards the environment,’ added Kelly.
The preview evening is 6pm-8.30pm. See www.facebook.com/pages/Woodsmith/700281336664960 for more.