NAME: Matthew Rampley
YOUR BUSINESS / ORGANISATION: MR Woodcraft Ltd
YOUR TITLE IN THAT BUSINESS: Owner/Director
WHEN DID THE BUSINESS LAUNCH?: 2015
ELEVATOR PITCH – TELL US WHAT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS DOES IN A NUTSHELL:
MR Woodcraft specialises in producing a range of tree swings, swing frames, swing seats and house signs. We also produce items such as chopping boards, cheese boards and egg racks too for inside the home all of which can be personalised with letter carving. Our products are all made from the finest English Oak and Accoya® – the latter being a highly sustainable long-life wood. We pride ourselves in using high quality materials and providing our customers with a personal service.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BUSINESS’S USP OVER YOUR PEERS?
Our products are handcrafted from the finest English oak using a mixture of both traditional and modern techniques. A personal service is all part of the package, when contacting MR Woodcraft, you won’t just be talking to another salesman; instead you’ll be dealing with someone who is passionate about the product which they themselves create. You’ll be talking directly to the Maker!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGE SO FAR?
In the first year I was lucky enough to have the use of a well-established website and domain, however the site was old and had many issues, and on top of this the domain name didn’t represent MR Woodcraft. The biggest challenge for me was deciding in favour of a brand-new site and domain name, which in time will far exceed the performance of the old site.
AND YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS?
To me, every time we install a brand new bespoke item such as a swing seat or frame at someone’s property, seeing the smile on the client’s face and knowing how happy they are with their new product, that has to be the greatest success of all!
WHAT DOES THE NEXT 12 MONTHS HAVE IN STORE FOR YOU?
This year will see a real push in marketing for MR Woodcraft. Last year was focused mainly on building the new website, so in the next 12 months I would really like to see this, along with the brand as a whole being pushed to a wider audience. As well as steering the website in the right direction, we will also be adding to our product range throughout the year and showcasing these at a number of different events across the UK.
AND IN FIVE YEARS TIME YOU’D LIKE THE BUSINESS TO?
Have developed a wider market presence and grown in size. And of course, still be creating the very highest quality items for the home and garden! I’ve always wanted to move the business forwards but I feel it is key to do this at a steady pace; slow and steady wins the race after all!
NATURALLY, YOU WANT TO REACH CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS AND THOSE WHO CAN HELP YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS SUCCEED. WHO MIGHT YOU WANT TO HEAR FROM?
With regards to web solutions, photography and marketing we are well set, these guys really do help MR Woodcraft to be noticed and are an important and vital part of the team. It’s always interesting to hear from new timber or fixing suppliers though! With regards to customers I love to hear from those who are after something that little bit special, either to give as a gift or keep for themselves.
WHEN YOU FEEL TROUBLED OR ‘BEATEN’ AT ANY STAGE IN BUSINESS LIFE, WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO RALLYING YOURSELF?
I think about what a journey it has been starting a business at such a young age, and the reason for doing it. Every mistake that is made along the way can be learnt from after all! I also have a very supportive family and close group of friends who will always be there for me if I need some support, but most importantly they are there to help me take my mind off of the business at times.
DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR, OR HAVE YOU USED ONE? IF SO, HOW WAS THAT?
I don’t currently have a mentor, however there are certain people from whom I have gained a good deal of valuable knowledge.
WHAT’S CHANGING ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY THAT MAKES IT SUCH A GOOD SPACE TO BE IN?
Technology evolves very rapidly, for example rather than hand drawing and sketching it is now far easier to put together 3D representations of exactly what products will look like using CAD. Technology is allowing us to do things more efficiently than ever before.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WANTING TO ENTER YOUR INDUSTRY SPACE?
If you’re good at what you do then go for it! There is a huge scope for new and exciting wooden products in today’s market. Do it for the passion of what you do though, and not just to make money. It’s easier to wake up in the morning knowing you’ll be doing something you love!
THE PLUG BIT:
Check out our fresh new website: https://mrwoodcraft.com
Give us a like on Facebook: MR Woodcraft Ltd
Follow us on Instagram: @mrwoodcraft
Follow us on Twitter: @MRWoodcraftLtd
AND NOW THE SLIGHTLY LESS CORPORATE BIT…
BEST THING ABOUT EAST ANGLIA: The beautiful countryside!
YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS: Fun, Ambitious, Hardworking
UNFULFILLED AMBITION: Gaining a pilot’s licence
FANTASY DINNER PARTY GUESTS:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Dyson, Joanna Lumley… Slightly random but the list could go on!
WHERE YOU LIVE, WHERE YOU’RE ORIGINALLY FROM (AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE), HOW OLD YOU ARE, WHO YOU LIVE WITH:
I’m 22 years old and I currently live in Nedging Tye with my partner Sammie and our chocolate Labrador Aussie! I was brought up about 4 miles away in Ringshall.