Object of desire: the Cadbury chair
PUBLISHED: 10:56 29 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:56 29 June 2016
Classic and contemporary, comfortable and chic - the Cadbury chair from South West Upholstery is a design classic
South West Upholstery was formed in Bristol by Ryan Ball and his father Andrew. Both were experienced in the upholstery trade (Ryan began learning the trade aged 11) and wanted to offer quality upholstery services to other businesses and members of the public, with a personal and transparent approach.
In 2013 the company took over a rival, Bobbie Burns Upholstery, which had been trading in Bristol since 1929. The original Bobbie Burns would run the shop dressed to impress in waistcoat, top hat and cravat. His shop specialised in selling curtains, carpets, and upholstered furniture, and also offered a polishing service for wooden surfaces. Bobbie Burns would be found working late in the office or in a local pub enjoying a large whiskey to round the day off – a true gentleman of his time.
Today, the Bobbie Burns name can still be seen in its original North Street store and also in South West Upholstery’s new store in Clifton, which opened in January. ‘Bobbie Burns’ is now the name of South West Upholstery’s bespoke furniture range, which allows clients to select a frame, comfort level and upholstery design and colour to suit their desire, with everything made in Bristol. South West Upholstery selects suppliers who are specialists in their area for items such as leather or fabrics, and range in size from companies who supply fabrics down to sole traders who polish show wood.
Managing Director Ryan Ball attributes much of the company’s success to remembering the core values it began with - quality, service and transparency. He feels that it is his responsibility to ensure that these are reflected in everything South West Upholstery does, no matter how large the company becomes. He found that even during the recession customers wished to invest in high quality bespoke items,which will last much longer than cheaper alternatives. This approach has enabled the company to become a Which? Approved and rated trust a trader, an accolade which no other upholstery company in the Bristol area has achieved.
South West Upholstery keeps a close eye on furnishing trends, and with the increasing popularity of high quality retro and bespoke furniture, it is well placed for the future.