Which is the best place to start your own business?
High point furniture has a wide range of designs, but the furniture maker’s best known products are its famous chairs and the modern-style chairs it sells in shops across the country.
The company’s founder and CEO, Dave Hill, says it’s not just about style, but about the design of the furniture itself.
“The designs are really important because they’re really a part of the personality of the product,” he says.
“So when you see something like the original High Point chairs, you know it’s something that we’ve done for a long time.”
Hill and his staff work in a small workshop in his home town of Northampton.
His team have a passion for the design, but they’re also very practical.
“We’ve designed a lot of different kinds of furniture and we do a lot with the material,” he explains.
“It’s a bit like a small family business.”
Hill started his company in the 1990s when he was still an apprentice.
“I had a very good working relationship with the local council and it was a great place to be and we made some great friends.”
High Point furniture’s customers include the BBC, TV show bosses, politicians and the business community.
They range from families who want to move up to high-end professionals, to the young.
In 2016, the company was awarded a contract by the UK government to provide modern-day living and working spaces for schools, hospitals and government departments.
Hill says that since then, his company has seen its business grow.
“People are starting to come and go, but we’re still seeing new business come in,” he said.
“A lot of people are really interested in the designs, the materials, the craftsmanship and the feel.”
Hill says there are a few things that keep him up at night.
“There’s a lot more people in the business than I expected,” he laughs.
“And the staff is always happy and healthy.”
Hill has a lot to learn about design.
But the first step is to get the designs right.
“You can’t really do it for the sake of it,” he warns.
“Design is not the same as craftsmanship.”
You might not be able to get everything right on your first try, but Hill believes there’s a good chance you can get the right design at some point in the future.
“What I like about design is it’s all about the craft,” he argues.
“But we’re not looking to sell something that is perfect, just because it’s been done.”