Behind the scenes with...Baa Stool22-Sep-2016
Tell us a bit about you…
My name is Michelle Bartleet-Greavey and I am the MD of Baa Stool Ltd - a range of luxury British sheepskin furniture and accessories with removable covers. Our aim is to make quality pieces of furniture that can fit in anywhere but still have a real wow factor. The result is a range of unique and contemporary furniture that complements modern and period interiors equally. We are based in a 15th century cruck barn in an area of outstanding natural beauty in North Wales where all the products are developed and made.
How did Baa Stool come about?
I completed 18 months of training with the Association of Master Upholsterers in 2013 and after my first year I set up my own upholstery business; North Wales Upholstery. It was during a tea break from a particularly challenging chair that I was looking at the sheep in the fields surrounding my workshop and mused ‘they look like little footstools. Hmmmmmm…sheepskin covered footstools. Oh yes!’ I then spent several months developing the idea and ensuring that every detail of the product was high quality, Baa Stool was then officially born in June 2013!
I started selling Baa Stools at local artisan markets and county shows and they quickly developed a following. I noticed that the real British sheepskin cover on the footstools made people stop in their tracks, look closer…then, inevitably, smile. This quickly became the overall aim of every new design…to make people smile when they walk into a room. I was approached by retailers and started to sell to the trade.
Where do you look to for inspiration?
I have always liked quirky independent designers and I love anything handcrafted by local artisans. In the marketing area I love innocent smoothies as they have an irreverent, jokey and don’t take themselves too seriously approach.
What’s the ethos of Baa Stool?
I am very keen on buying locally and I try to source materials from suppliers in a 10-mile radius as much as possible. All our sheepskin is sourced from British flocks. As a company Baa Stool reuses and recycles as much as possible. There is a flat structure here, everyone helps each other out and everyone has a part in the decision making and product development. Keep it fun, make people smile and you’ll build a happy business.
Are you launching any new ranges?
Baa Stool launched a new range of accessories at Home & Gift; Doorstops, Square Cushions, Bag Charms, Lampshades, Muffs and Rugs. I am most excited about the doorstops. Our stockists have been asking for more home accessories, so we have been very busy developing exciting new lines. The doorstops are just so cute and will definitely ‘flock out’!
The trend for Sheepskin is massive and it’s only getting more and more popular. I am loving our new navy sheepskin which I will be a big seller for Autumn 2016.
Why do you exhibit at Home & Gift?
This was our third year at Home & Gift and it was the first ever trade show I exhibited at in 2014. I learnt so much from buyers at this show and still am learning. They always seem to have more time than at other shows to come to the stand to talk to us, plus they always have advice and feedback to give. I am very excited for this year, as it’s my first year in Hall M. I am thrilled to be introducing the flock alongside so many larger, more established brands.