A passion for woodwork led Frazer Reid to start his own furniture making business, FAR Cabinet Makers, four years ago. The 26-year-old works out of a studio on Lohton Farm, Fife.
Q What does your business do?
A I’m a bespoke furniture maker and wood artist. I also run build your own wooden surfboard classes on demand. Everything I make is to commission and no job is too big or small – from jewellery boxes to dining tables I can make it all.
Q Why did you start in business?
A I’ve always had a passion for woodworking and decided I would attend the inter-national Chippendale School of Furniture, after working for two years and saving the money to do it. After completing the course – and winning portfolio of the year – I knew I had to set up my own business. This allowed me to do what I love every day, creating beautiful pieces of furniture.
Q How did you get to where you are?
A Lots of hard work. It was a steep learning curve starting my own business. I am now coming into my fourth year of business and things are starting to go really well. I have built up a clientele and good commissions are coming in as well as selling artistic pieces I have designed myself. If anything this is making me work harder to expand and grow my business.
Q Who has helped you along the way?
A The Prince’s Trust and Business Gateway Fife have helped me from the very start and their continued support is greatly appreciated. I’ve also benefited from Business Gateway’s full-funded workshops that cover all aspects of business. My parents have also given me a great deal of support and help over the years; I don’t think I could have done it without them.
Q What was your biggest mistake?
A When I started I thought I would be able to do it all myself and quickly realised I couldn’t. I had no idea how to run my own business but help from The Prince’s Trust and Business Gateway Fife focused my mind and I was given a start-up loan to buy essential machinery.
Q What is your greatest achievement?
A Winning Small Business Sunday with Theo Paphitis earlier this year which gave me a huge social media boost. I also got to meet Theo Paphitis at the winner’s conference. I have learned some valuable lessons from listening to his talk and from Deborah Meaden who also spoke at the event.
Q Hopes for the future?
A I hope to have a larger workshop with a gallery in the front and a team of people working for me.
Q Do you want to recruit in the future?
A I would like to take someone on eventually, maybe a few years down the line.
Q What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
A Getting my work seen and getting my name out there. It’s a lot more than just making a piece of furniture and hoping someone will come along and buy it, there are hours of social media advertising and emails to galleries as well as driving around to drop pieces off.
Q Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
Go for it. There is so much help out there for people looking to start up from the likes of Business Gateway Fife and the Prince’s Trust, and so many people are willing to help. It is daunting starting out, but make a clear plan and look for all the help you can.