BHN caught up with Tom Marsh, furniture enterprise manager at Furniture from Crisis, about the company’s origins and commercial growth opportunities, as well as how partnerships can support the homeless community.
• Delighted to have you on board as charity partner for the Urban Living Festival 2021. Can you please tell us more about how the furniture enterprise has evolved to cater to hospitality businesses?
We launched Furniture from Crisis in August 2016 selling furniture to individuals for their homes. We sold items through our shops and online through our eBay site.
In 2019, we were approached by the team at Wotton House Hotel in Surrey. They were refurbishing their meetings and conference space and wanted to create a really unique and bespoke look, befitting of a luxury, country hotel. That was our first commercial project for a hospitality business. We created mood boards for the client, sourced all the items, renovated them and brought them back to life so they could be used again. This was a busy working area for the hotel, so we ensured the items were practical and functional, as well as being beautifully crafted. We also delivered the furniture and installed the pieces ourselves.
• Are there plans to expand the business further afield?
Having completed the Wotton House hotel project, we’re now working on an installation for a major international brand in their new corporate office. We’ve selected some beautiful mid-century pieces which will be distinctive and very stylish.
Partnering with Crisis demonstrates the client’s sustainability credentials and shows their commitment to supporting the homeless. We’re here at the Urban Living Festival to showcase the range we have and because we would, absolutely, like to work on more projects with more partners and to see the business grow.
• How can Furniture from Crisis supply renovation projects? What are you looking for in a partner?
We would love to talk to any business about to start a renovation. We can also supply furniture for new builds. The items we select typically suit public areas — bars, lounges, coffee shops, informal meeting areas, that kind of thing. We can work with other furniture suppliers and interior designers depending on the brief from the client.
• How are the profits made from commercial partnerships used to support Crisis members?
Partnering with Crisis means you are giving something back. Any profits we make go towards our projects for the homeless. We call the people we support our members. We are supporting adults to learn new skills in furniture renovation so they can transition out of homelessness. It’s a long-term solution that can really make a difference to people’s lives.
• What’s your vision for the company?
We’ve been working really hard to understand the market and how best to meet their needs, supplying beautiful items of furniture. I’d love to see Furniture from Crisis in hotels, offices, accommodation and retail spaces across the UK. If we can work with more corporate clients we can change the lives of even more homeless people. That’s the goal.
Also, it would be great to change customer’s perceptions of second-hand furniture. I think when they see our pieces they will be impressed. You can also check out the furniture and find out more about our service on our new website here.
The Urban Living Festival: stay, live, work — 26–27 October 2021, Tobacco Dock, London — is the only leadership and investment event for urban innovators and investors at the cutting edge of contemporary hospitality, real estate and living. Secure your tickets here.
This story was originally posted on 15 October 2021 on BoutiqueHotelNews.com
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