TallBoy interiors is a business I set up when I was 20, now 5 years on I am loving the industry and being able to create unique spaces for clients while also showcasing antiques in a modern way is giving me ambition to keep making my business better.
Where did it all start?:
I am often asked how this all started and I am a positive person so I never really go into how hard it was to build up enough money to take the first step. But here is a brief yet detailed run down of what got me to where I am now.
After completing my A levels I took the extremely risky step of choosing to go self employed. I knew I wanted to work in the World of interior design so I began doing a 12 month online Design course that I passed within 6 months! Which was amazing and a huge boost to my confidence that I was doing the right thing.
For a couple of years I took the small amount of money I had in my bank account and started buying pieces at auctions and carboots, now these were nothing like the pieces you see today, it was literally any antique/interior piece that I could see a profit in. Within the first year I had a local reputation for buying very unusual items which then lead me to standing at any antique fair I could, come rain or shine to try and grow my business.
The antiques fairs were great for getting my name out there (Matt Dixon back then) but they cost a fortune and I lost money most fairs which as a business minded person was not great. I took the decision to only do select fairs and start buying bigger piece such as furniture, as now 18 months in I could see the antique/collectable market was rapidly decreasing. So with a huge thanks to my parents who sold their car to buy a 4x4 which I could be insured on to allow me to buy furniture and artwork. Which was one of the biggest turning points, but at the same time I had just started using Instagram which without a doubt was the biggest game changer.
Social media especially Instagram is something that without I wouldn't be where I am today. It started building slowly at first but once I started getting followed by well respected dealers and selling to them it just kept building. Just before my 20th Birthday in 2015 I officially started my business (TallBoy Interiors) and leased my first van so that I could commit to purchasing larger items. From this point on I was using my knowledge of design movements and interior design to buy the pieces that I knew I could live with myself and trusted others would agree. My personal taste has been the only guide I have used for buying. I have never gone out seeking similar items to other dealers or magazines I just wanted to buy what I liked.
Skip forward a couple of years, I am now up to a few thousand followers on social media and getting a little bit of recognition for what I do. With that confidence and a little more money in the bank I decide to take the leap to buying in the South of France. It was a risk, a huge one as the costs involved aren't cheap but the rewards I believed were worth it. I always try think of a realistic result never best case or worst. Just somewhere in the middle and this I think is what has helped me to progress my business. Also I am stubborn haha and only guided by myself. I always appreciate peoples views especially those who have experience in that specific area but I want to keep pushing and do new things. So I will always listen but that doesn't mean I necessarily agree. When making any decision I weigh up pro's and cons and then come to a final view.
Thankfully my risk paid off and buying in France was a huge boost to my business! I was now able to buy a huge variety of stock in one go to last me a few months and then I could go back and do it all again. Now the items aren't cheap to buy as the competition over there is fierce but what you can find are some truly special pieces and I made it work. For me the best thing about the antiques trade is that everyone can do their own thing which could be completely opposite to another dealer but both will be able to make it work which is a testament to the people involved in the antique and interiors community.
Now France has been the biggest addition to my business over the past few years but I have done it again! and gone against all the advice and grumblings of some people and rented a high street shop! Now unfortunately this hasn't been open long enough for me to tell you if it was the right decision or not, but in my first weeks of opening I have had the highest level of sales to date and until Covid 19 this had no signs of slowing down. So once I can open again I am confident this will continue. The shop has been a labour of love, 18 months since I found the beautiful Independent chapel in the heart of Malton North Yorkshire too now. It has undergone a huge scale renovation done by myself and the Landlord. But now it is a truly spectacular space and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. So I strongly advise you to visit whenever you are next in the York area. If not to see my current selection of interesting piece then to see the beautiful building and town of Malton full of great food places and independent businesses.
So thats the brief but hopefully interesting history of Tallboy Interiors to this point but this isnt the end of the growth. I have so many ideas of different ways to take my business to new heights. I love business, I love antiques and I love my clients so everything that is coming is with you in mind.
Some finishing points that are more to make you aware incase you aren't already.
First being that my Interior design qualification is now going to become a bigger part of the business. I am here and ready to take on single rooms to full projects so please get in touch to discuss. I will work with you throughout the process and create you a truly unique space that showcases who you are. I am able to take on both private and commercial projects.
Tallboy Contract interiors in currently in its early stages but will be launching alongside this business very soon with the focus on sourcing runs of pieces i.e. bistro table for a cafe project, contract FR upholstery and many different forms of bespoke joinery such as seating, headboards and panelling.
TallBoy interiors is a business that I am very pleased to say is building a reputation for high quality seating and upholstery. We offer traditional upholstery for both domestic and commercial clients on all of our seating. We are now also taking orders to upholster your pieces that maybe a little tired and need a new lease of life. So again please get in touch should you have any questions.