Sam Tuffnell is one of these guys who was just born to be outside, working in overalls, working with his hands and generally getting dirty… you couldn’t imagine him in an office environment if you know what I mean. His furniture-making business S.Tuff Tailormade (see what he did there) allows him to do all these things and more. It’s a business that manifested very organically as a result of a few twists and turns and Sam told me all about it over a Matcha latte in Home Coffee.
In a previous life, Sam was a professional rollerblader, he’d bladed since he was 12 and made a living through competitions and sponsorships. He moved from his hometown of Southsea to Brighton as there was more of a ‘scene’ there but a motorbike accident, in which he nearly lost his leg, saw his career take a different turn. He moved back to Southsea and started studying for an engineering degree with The Open University. While studying, he discovered his passion and talent for furniture making when his wife asked him to make a dining table. He also created a coffee table out of old pallets and work started coming his way from family and friends. Items he’s made for people’s homes include bookcases, tables, shelving and garden furniture. He’s also made things for local businesses like Aurora and Yes Creative (he made them a stunning board-room-style desk). So if you need a bespoke countertop or anything for that matter, Sam’s your guy!
He finds it fascinating taking things apart to see how they were put together and he likes nothing more than repurposing items that would usually go to waste. He told me about a client who’d asked him to make a window seat, as well as taking an old piano to the tip. Sam thought the wood was beautiful so he took the piano apart and hey presto… made a window seat! All in a day’s work and the client was amazed and delighted.
I asked what inspired him and he said he was inspired by other people’s ideas. Rather than creating pieces that are all the same style, Sam loves working to a brief and making something he knows the client will love. He told me he’s recently been working on holiday lets in Southsea; Airbnb apartments with different themes. This kind of project really allows Sam to get creative and work with a variety of styles. He created a Jungle Book wardrobe for the Kipling room and clean, polished furniture for the Charles Dickens room.
As well as working on commercial and domestic commissions (and helping with the build for Victorious every year) Sam has furniture available to hire for weddings and events. He made the tables and benches for his own wedding at the Square Tower and they’re all available to hire, as well as an arch, flower boxes, coffee tables and a Chesterfield sofa. He absolutely loves working on bespoke projects so he encourages his clients to challenge him with a project. How about giant initials for your wedding day? All made of wood with battery operated lights for that extra pizazz. Find out more about S.Tuff Tailormade via his website www.stufftailormade.co.uk and search for him on social media.
By Helen Ruff