Somerset Life meets the... Brand Director - Freddie Saul from Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet

PUBLISHED: 13:20 04 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:14 20 February 2013

Somerset Life meets the... Brand Director - Freddie Saul from Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet

Somerset Life meets the... Brand Director - Freddie Saul from Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet

Freddie Saul is Brand Director at the new Designer Emporium at Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet, which was created by his father Roger. Father and son have also joined forces to create a new upcycled furniture collection: Saul's De

What is the idea behind the furniture range?

Our plan was to create beautiful new items from materials that were redundant; adding value to the old and unused if you like, but avoiding the worthy connotations that can come with recycled products.

Where are the pieces made?

They are made entirely in Somerset, with all the steel work being done by myself in my workshop at Sharpham Park and the carpentry by several local joiners. This gives me the chance to be in a suit one day but overalls the next! The soft furnishings side of the collection is based around hides and wool from our rare-breed sheep, utilising the whole animal when it is culled for meat.

Where do you get the wood from?

I use three main woods: oak parquet flooring from a ballroom in Bristol, pirana pine planks used to mature Stilton in Derby, and my personal favourite, timber from the boardwalk of Weston Pier.

What is it like working with your father?

I have a great relationship with my father full stop, and I think thats a big part of making a business relationship succeed. As a team we have gelled very well and, touch wood, have not fallen out! We are both alike in that we tend to think big and this can mean someone needs to bring us back down to earth! Growing up in a family where such amazing things were happening, whether that was developing Mulberry as the international brand it is today or the decision to launch a designer outlet, things are always fast-paced and revolutionary with my father. Both my parents have been inspirational to me, sailing through hard times as well as good with the same determination and drive is a truly rare thing.

When did you decide to be a sculptor?

I dont think I ever made that decision! I never did art or DT at school, so it was just never something that crossed my mind it was always Economics or Finance that I was aiming for. While travelling in New Zealand, I chanced upon welding and blacksmithing and my fascination just grew from there.

What is your role at the
Designer Emporium?

I am the Brand Director at Kilver Court so the selection of brands on offer both within The Designer Emporium and the wider site is the responsibility of my mini team. We have tried to choose an eclectic mix of interesting designer brands that will have a broad appeal. What we have tried to create is something completely new here, by combining some of the highest quality brands with the buildings that we are carefully restoring to their former textile mill glory. The Emporium offers the kind of brands that would simply never be on offer in the local area, in a setting where you can enjoy a coffee or lunch to think about your purchases followed by a walk around the beautiful gardens.

Do you have any plans for the future?

The next Grand Sale takes place on 12 and 13 November. We have some amazing new brands that I have been working on, as well as some familiar faces in what will make for the best designer bargains this side of Christmas! I will also be expanding my furniture range, so keep an eye out on the website for developments. My products are scattered through the space at Kilver Court and also available online at

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