Kuldea Co-Founder, Ray Wright, sat down for a question and answer interview with Andrew Knight and Phil Overton, the Co-Founders of Ironfire Furniture. They discuss the inspiration behind Ironfire Furniture, the story of the brand and what makes it their furniture products so unique. Andrew and Phil also discuss current trends in the market and changes over time with upcycled, recycled and ethically sourced furniture from renewable materials.
Question 1) You’ve developed a fantastic business with Ironfire Furniture. Can you provide us with an overview of the business for our followers?
Ironfire is part of Ri Manufacturing Ltd, established for over 25 years ago Ri Manufacturing is the UK’s leading manufacturer of Newspaper Security Storage and Display Solutions. Our long-standing customers include Waitrose, M&S, Sainsbury’s, WHSmith and Tesco, to name a few. Our loyal national retail customers trust us to meet their complicated and varied supply guidelines. We make strong products that are engineered for long service life.
Ri Manufacturing is an innovative business and we are always looking to develop new ideas that compliment out the manufacturing background. We want to develop products that offer something unique to the market that has a real value add for our customers. That’s what makes our Ironfire Furniture so great and it’s the reason people trust our entry into the sustainable furniture market. All our furniture products are made by the same people with the same passion for quality, value and service.
Question 2) You have so many unique designs and products at Ironfire. Can you share with me the inspiration for the business and how you’ve built it to what it is today?
From the very beginning, we set out to create a range of long-lasting industrial influenced furniture with a modern twist that could be used both indoors and outside of the home. Our furniture is created from sustainable, renewable and ethically sourced materials from UK, all manufactured at our site in Wyley, Wiltshire.
We create unique, high quality, furniture pieces that are an alternative to so much of the imported and mass-market products on offer both online and on the high street. Our prices that are affordable and allow our customers to own something that’s truly unique, a statement piece that will stay with them forever at a fraction of the cost of other products that are currently available. Our inspiration for Ironfire Furniture came from the fact that we had the materials available to us to produce these unique pieces and we could see a gap in the market for our style of furniture, particularly amongst working professionals who are furnishing their homes, so we took the opportunity to enter the market.
The beauty of Ironfire is that you can use it both indoors and outside in the garden. So for the garden, you can choose from our garden tables and chairs (with the added bonus that all our outdoor cushions are completely waterproof), benches, planters and also firepits, in fact, any item we create can be treated so that it’s perfectly at home in the garden as well as indoors.
You’ll see on our website that we offer a wide selection of wood finished and colour options for our range of tables, (inc dining tables, consoles tables, coffee tables and bistro tables,) and benches etc…. the beauty of the Ironfire design means that you can change your tabletops as often as you like, to suit your decor or home makeover, both inside or outside.
In fact, we have over 200 different colours to choose from, the possibilities are endless…and if people can’t find something they like, we’ll do our utmost to match to something that our clients request.
Question 3) Trend plays such a big part of your business. Can you share with me your views on current trends in the interior design space?
There are lots of interesting and popular lifestyle concepts around at present – our thinking about how we should design, make and deliver our furniture echoes many of these ideas. So, we didn’t set out to follow anyone specific trend and we prefer to think that we’re creating trends that feel right for the market… but you could say that we’ve unintentionally combined a number of design and trend ‘philosophies’ in our furniture designs and thinking. Here are a few that are on-trend right now:
- Hygge from Denmark, it’s that warm feeling you get drinking hot chocolate on a snowy day, it’s the cosy contentment you get from the simple things in life… Denmark’s one of the happiest countries in the world, so they’re doing something right.
- Lagom from Sweden – translates into ‘Not too much – not too little” it’s about moderation and living a contented life with the right amount of possessions… simple and sustainable!
There’s a blog on the Ironfire website that goes into more detail on this topic, check it out. In this blog, there’s a lifestyle trend from Finland called ‘Pantsdrunk’, so do have a read…
Question 4) Upcycling and recycling have become a big part of people’s expectations of sustainable furniture production. Can you share your thoughts on the responsibility of the industry and consumers when it comes to buying upcycled and recycled furniture?
There’s an increasing awareness of the impact on the environment and our planet, via programmes like Blue Planet. More and more people are making deliberate and conscious decisions about the products they’re buying and how they’re sourced.
We design Ironfire Furniture to be maintained, repaired and renewed for life! Ironfire sources nearly everything here in the UK, uses renewable materials and avoids toxic ingredients unless absolutely unavoidable. We don’t make a big fuss about our furniture production process because we feel it’s the way furniture should be made. Therefore we design everything so that all parts are easily replaceable and we keep parts available in stock for when people might need to replace them.
Everything Ironfire is galvanised steel so if you do get a scratch, rust won’t spread. We guarantee all-steel against rust penetration for 10 years (subject to reasonable usage). We also send people easy to use paint touch-up kits too.
Finally, we refinish tabletops when people’s taste or decor changes in the home. We purposefully manufacture many variations of covers for all tables, benches and chairs to provide people choice as their homes change. All our wood is Douglas Fir sourced from the UK and renewable sources.
Question 5) I’m interested to know what your favourite products are being sold by Ironfire and why?
It has to be the coffee tables, or tables in general, for both indoors and outdoors! The best part are the testimonials we receive from our customers who often send us photos of the furniture in their home or garden, that’s when we get a real buzz out of all this.
Also, we believe in value for money and prices that are affordable. Our dining tables start at £629.00 inc VAT and people can add matching chairs for £189.00 each, bistro tables start at £205.00 and matching benches being at £219.00. All come with covers at additional prices. Our matching planters start at £139.00 and people can add a firepit to these for only £50.00.
Explore Ironfire Furniture on Kuldea. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to work with the passionate and talented people that are behind and make Ironfire Furniture the fantastic brand that it is today. We hope you enjoyed this interview with Andrew and Phil. Find more inspiration and top tips for creating your dream home on Kuldea!