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An interview with Jim, the upholsterer..
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an interview with Jim, the upholsterer...

1. What is your ethos?
Our ethos is simple. It's about celebrating individual vision. To provide our friends and customers (same thing!) with furniture that they won't find in anyone else's place because it is totally unique to them. 

2. What's in the name?

This was tricky. The business needed a name and after much discussion we decided to use our daughter's name, Liberty Rose. When she entered our lives the one name we agreed upon (and there were many!) was Liberty Rose.  And the meaning of it seems to fit with the aim and scope of our business.

Liberty: The power of choosing, thinking, and acting for oneself

Bed of roses: A situation of comfort or ease

Liberty Rose in our minds is about taking something precious such as a much-loved antique chair and revitalising it - boldly choosing something exquisite which will provide comfort (and hopefully fun, passion and warmth) for years to follow...

3. Where has been your favourite place to sit on a chair?
Probably the most exotic seat was on the back of an elephant in Thailand, though not the most comfortable. We did a photo shoot with a sofa once at Wittering beach. We lugged the sofa into the back of a van and carefully set it amongst the sand dunes for the perfect, earthy shot. It was great to be sat in a really comfy sofa rather than your typical deckchair, though we did look slightly eccentric. It added a real twist to newfound splendour...

4. Do you have any upholstery rituals?
I cannot even think about starting a day in the workshop without a mug of tea. There must be tea and I listen to what Sally calls my "Upholstery music". It's mellow usually, you can't beat the boss, Bruce.

5. If you were on a desert island and could only take one piece of furniture with you, what would it be?
Probably a Victorian chaise longue together with my iPod. Just the frame would do... I would be happy with hammer in hand, a roll of natural hessian and tacks in my mouth (yes - that's true). Sourcing the fabric might be a challenge on a desert island, so I'd probably opt for natural hemp or organic cotton.

6. What was your childhood ambition?
Well, I wanted to be a fireman and I wanted to eventually become a dad, and definitely not just a father. I blame those early years of watching Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub, the firemen in "Camberwick Green"!

7. Is it hard running a business with your wife?
No comment! Actually, I wouldn't get away with that... It's been good fun so far but then we've been together for a couple of decades. The retail side of the business has been a learning curve for both of us and so we've had to learn on the job which has been challenging. We're both pretty sociable so meeting some creative people on our journey has been a lot of fun.

8. What's the piece you've been most proud of?
Err, that's tricky. I always like working on commissions that are radically different or ahead of the trend. I suppose I'm particularly fond of a massive Union Jack collage which resides in our living room. We'd come back from a trip to Kerala and I was taken with the vibrant colours of the fabrics, the exotic and luxurious textures and a sense of old and new. I built a frame from scratch, took a rich red velvet, various pairs of our old denim jeans and an Indian bedspread with cut and patchwork pieces all made by hand. It's a bit like Marmite. You either love it or hate it.

9. What do you do in your spare time?
We're usually out and about with the family. George is only two and a whirlwind of energy and Liberty keeps us all on our toes. My days of lazing on a comfy sofa are a fast-fading memory. I wouldn't change it for the world though. Happy days.

10. What is your life motto?
Hmm. For life, I guess it's something along the lines of being grateful for what you've got. I'm not a planner (unlike Sally, who runs the office side of things) but I do believe that you should live each day as if it were your last.

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