Select A Maker, a Digital Directory of Design Professions
Circa 2015 - 2016
This was the website for Select A Maker, a digital directory of design professions. The directory search categories covered: Accessories, Architectural detail, Art & Sculpture, Bathroom fittings, Beds, Cabinetry, Ceramics, Clocks, Doors & windows, Fire surrounds, Flooring, Furniture (indoor and outdoor), Garden ornament, Lighting, Ornamental items, Rugs & carpets, Stone masonry, Tableware, Textiles, Upholstery, Wall panelling, Wallpaper, Wall treatments and Window dressing.
Content is from the site's archived pages as well as other resources.
A great concept with talented folks all around.
A number of industry professionals recognized the usefulness of this tool. Homes and Gardens’ design correspondent Barbara Chandler writes about commissioning bespoke, and why it’s getting a bit easier thanks to online directory Select a Maker.
The new owner of the site's domain has kept an edited version of the original site in the hopes it may inspire others, elsewhere to connect bespoke artisans and other auxillary services* with interior designers and individuals.
* An aside: What I mean by auxillary services is those companies that can provide supplementary or additional help and support, such as window washers, rug cleaning and repair, specialty painters, etc. As an example, I have a personal story. I had a party planner create an amazing setting in my penthouse condo for the 50th anniversary of my parents. The event was a huge success, but there were a few casualties along the way: broken goblets, knocked over floral arrangement, spilled food and drink, and a large wine stain on one of my antique Persian rugs. Fortunately the party planner had his own list of specialists including a "fabulous" (his words not mine) carpet cleaning service in NYC. I called My Home Carpet Cleaning NYC the next day and a representative arrived that afternoon. I was assured the stain could be removed and the rug was whisked away. When it was returned a week later, I was the one saying "Fabulous, just fabulous!" I, now, have had all my rugs cleaned by My Home Carpet Cleaning NYC and they are now part of my list of great NYC resources that includes such specialists as cleaning ladies, painters, clothes cleaners, caterers, wine stores, bakeries etc. Select A Maker was a great concept. I'm sure there must be an equivalent here in NYC. Meanwhile I have my own list.
Select A Maker was set up in 2015 by Cambridgeshire based interior designer Yasmin Chopin to promote UK based designers and makers working in the interiors and gardens sector. Select a Maker is on-line directory that is free to use and it’s going to make a big difference to the way we source one-off, made to measure and bespoke items for the home and garden. Specifically featuring makers who provide a bespoke service, it aims to offer a comprehensive online resource for professionals and the general public alike. By making it easy to find, for example, a furniture maker or a maker of architectural glass I hope to encourage more people to explore this route when they want something very personal, special and unique for their home.
Select A Maker is a free-to-use directory of UK based designers and makers working in the bespoke market for INTERIORS and GARDENS.
- Help interior designers and garden designers find bespoke makers
- Expand opportunities for designer-makers
- Advance the UK’s bespoke sector
We aim to support and grow the bespoke market: In the UK there are companies with a long history that champion traditional methods of making. And there are new companies that push the boundaries of design with the latest materials and techniques. There are time-served artisans developing their unique style through experimentation and groups and partnerships working together to produce exciting art, craft and design. Our listing pages put you directly in touch with some of the most talented people in the business. All our members accept commissions (Select A Maker is not a selling site).
The Select A Maker directory is the perfect sourcing tool for interior designers, architects, garden designers and landscape professionals.
“As an interior designer I recognised the need for an easy to use directory of makers, not just for the trade but for everyone. In my search for unique items for interiors I’ve met hundreds of individuals who craft items for homes and gardens. People who are dedicated to their craft, with the skills and vision to create perfection. I hope the combination of my experience in interiors and passion for design excellence means that Select A Maker benefits buyers and makers alike.” Yasmin Chopin – Founder and Creative Director, Select A Maker.
The commissioning process
How do I commission bespoke work? Every commission will be different but as a guide write down answers to these questions when buying bespoke:-
- Where will the item be placed?
- Is it for a special occasion?
- When do you need the item?
- Is there a maximum budget?
- What materials would you like the maker to use?
- What size should the finished item be?
- Have you seen something similar?
- Is the item a gift?
- What inspired you to ask for this item to be made?
- Go to Find a maker and enter your search criteria to create a shortlist of possible candidates.
- Contact the candidates via their website or email address and discuss the commission.
- If you like how the conversation went organise a visit to the maker, see some of their work and ask for testimonials if appropriate. Or, if the item is large or architectural you could invite the maker to come and see you so they get a better understanding of where the item will finish up. If a site visit is not possible you may need to provide photographs and/or architectural plans.
- Obtain a written quotation: this may be accompanied by a design drawing and/or a scale model and there may be a fee for this.
- Be clear about your expectations when you accept the quotation and establish a completion date. You may have to pay a deposit at this point. Give as much time as possible to the making process, it can take longer than you think.
- Ensure you understand how the piece will be transported to its destination and who is responsible for its safety.
- Keep open the lines of communication and don’t hesitate to contact the maker at any time during the process.
- Ensure you are ready to accept delivery and/or installation of your bespoke item and pay your chosen maker on time.
Should I use an intermediary to commission a piece of work? You can use an intermediary if this suits the situation – for instance, a gallerist, agent, architect, interior designer or garden designer. One of these professionals could be your eyes and ears and arrange the commissioned work for you. The intermediary is likely to require a fee for their time. This could be a percentage of the cost of the item or a flat fee.
We feature some of the most talented designers and makers working in the UK today
Our members say…
selectAmaker is a directory of designer-makers who welcome inquiries for bespoke work in the INTERIORS and GARDENS sector. If you are based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland JOIN US and become part of our community! We’re promoting UK bespoke!
“We at Faux Creation see many advantages to being part of a broader creative community with selectAmaker and consider it a real honor to be a member alongside some of the UK’s most creative talent. The future looks bright for all of us involved with selectAmaker.” Jason Ebers, Faux Creation Ltd.
“We really like being part of Select A Maker and enjoy reading about its developments and all new members.” Maja and Karyn at The Bespoke Boutique.
“I’m delighted to be part of this growing network of bespoke specialists, as an independent business Select A Maker gives a platform and route to market. Making connections with this tailored audience makes for stronger client relations and a meaningful peer support network.” Ciara McGarrity, WAFFLE Design.
“We like the individual nature of the companies listed on Select A Maker. The website fits with our type of business which is design oriented and a bit quirky.” Simon Shuck, Inspired by Design.
“As a sole craftsman it is good to have Select A Maker behind me with the opportunity to see what others are doing.” Cabinetmaker, Graham Ikin.
“I enjoy reading about other Select A Maker members on the blog, especially those who have travelled widely because the cultural references they have automatically catches my attention and of course being a weaver it is always interesting to see what other makers are creating.” “We really like being part of Select A Maker and enjoy reading about its developments and all new members.” Maja and Karyn at The Bespoke Boutique.
“It’s great to be part of the Select A Maker community. To be featured on the blog was a great way to have a spotlight shone on my work and current projects” Sarah Burghard, “We really like being part of Select A Maker and enjoy reading about its developments and all new members.” Maja and Karyn at The Bespoke Boutique..
“Select A Maker looks amazing. The feedback is an inspiration.” “We really like being part of Select A Maker and enjoy reading about its developments and all new members.” Maja and Karyn at The Bespoke Boutique.
“I am delighted to be a part of Select A Maker it provides continuous support and promotes outstanding craftsmanship” Penny Price, PENNY PRICE FURNITURE.
“I think Select A Maker is such a great service as there is no other website that specifically addresses bespoke interior manufacturing in the UK. Instead of trolling through endless other websites to see if you can find a manufacturer that maybe suits your needs, with Select A Maker, you can simply click that type of maker you are looking for and they pop up automatically. It’s a great service for interior designers and specifiers.” Dana Finnigan, Dana Finnigan.
“selectAmaker has fast become a major go-to site for bespoke design in the U.K. It features an eclectic group of talented designer makers and I’m very honoured to be one of the Founder Members. As an innovative specialist furniture painter, I welcome a community such as this which opens the door to new business not only from members of the public but also interior designers and businesses which are already a part of this rich and diverse creative community.” Clementene Coates, Clementene Coates.
NO VIDEO IS AVAILABLE
With thanks to video maker Christian Payne, who came up with this simple but effective idea for an 80 second video!
And thanks to the following selectAmaker members, who gave permission for their work to be featured in this video:-
- Malcolm Lewis, Malcolm Lewis Designs, interior accessories
- Penny Price, Penny Price Furniture, furniture maker
- Clementene Coates, painted furniture
- Kate Usher, Kate Usher Studio, bespoke wallpaper
- John Jacques, Radiance Furniture, furniture maker
- Lucy Churchill, stone carver
- Jess and Jules, custom furniture
- Eli Ofir, Home Portraits 4U, property portraits
- Angela Constantinou, Cocoon Home, soft furnishings
- Karl Dardis, Karl Dardis Art, artist painter
- Maja and Karyn, The Bespoke Boutique, handmade lampshades
“I’m Yasmin Chopin. In my search for unique items for interiors I’ve met hundreds of individuals who craft items for homes and gardens. People with passion, people with the skills and vision to create perfection.
In the UK there are companies with a long history that champion traditional methods of making. And there are new companies that push the boundaries of design with the latest materials and techniques. There are time-served artisans developing their unique style through experimentation and groups and partnerships working together to produce exciting art, craft and design.
Some companies you will recognise, some will be new, all deserve to be better known.
Select a Maker takes the time to bring designer- makers together in one place. It’s easy to find the right person for your project. You don’t need to register, just search the directory to find a maker and get in touch with the people who impress you.
Join our mailing list on www.selectAmaker.com.
Celebrate the bespoke with us.
Let’’s make the heirlooms of the future!”
A little bit about us and how we like to work.
We aim to make your experience of using the selectAmaker directory first class.
Yasmin Chopin – Founder and Creative Director. With many years managing membership organisations and in recent years working as an interior designer, Yasmin has all the experience needed to make selectAmaker the best bespoke resource for interior designers and the general public.
Ann Hawkins – Business mentor. An inspiration and source of sensible advice for the team at selectAmaker Ann offers members a mentoring service. She is co-author of ‘New Business – Next Steps’ and on the radio at The Business Hub and the Social Media Show.
Dan Hawkins – Web developer. Dan trained as an architect but soon discovered his creative energy was best used in web design. He ensures the selectAmaker website does the job we want it to. And by the way, he’s no relation to Ann.
Jess Payne – Designer. Best friend, daughter to Yasmin and bespoke upholsterer and fabric designer, Jess is closely involved in all aspects of the selectAmaker business. She manages things when mum takes time out and boosts the team effort when needed.
Jen Haken – Marketing. Writing copy and creating quality content is where Jen excels. With over 20 years’ experience Jen’s writing helps selectAmaker capture the right audience with her reader-friendly newsletters and blog posts. You will find Jen on the Blog.
Angela Wilson – Administrator. Angela keeps our books in order. Her enthusiasm for figure work is backed up with years of experience. We love having her on board so we can spend time promoting the selectAmaker community.
Good service and quality
- We maintain an open and honest relationship with our community of Buyers, Makers, Friends and the wider public.
- We support innovative design, new designers and smaller businesses in order to help develop the UK economy.
- We respect, and expect our Members to respect, copyright and intellectual property rights by providing links, citing sources, and crediting inspiration where appropriate.
- We disclose any material relationships, policies and business practices so you know where we stand.
- We care about the planet and encourage eco-friendly product development and working methods.
- We trust that every listing in the selectAmaker directory advances our core aim which is to encourage the commissioning of bespoke ART CRAFT & DESIGN for INTERIORS and GARDENS. If we are concerned about any aspect of customer service or product quality within our Maker community we will take appropriate steps to help make improvements. We reserve the right to amend or remove a Maker member listing at any time, under any circumstances.
- We regularly review our working practices to give our Maker members excellent value for money but more than that, we aim to deliver a service to the selectAmaker community that money cannot buy.
- We want to know if there is anything we can do to improve our directory of designer-makers and our service so please tell us!