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 with interior designers and individuals.

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.

 

About

Select A Maker is a free-to-use directory of UK based designers and makers working in the bespoke market for INTERIORS and GARDENS.

We:-

  • 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). 

Professionals

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?
     
  1. Go to Find a maker and enter your search criteria to create a shortlist of possible candidates.
  2. Contact the candidates via their website or email address and discuss the commission.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ensure you understand how the piece will be transported to its destination and who is responsible for its safety.
  7. Keep open the lines of communication and don’t hesitate to contact the maker at any time during the process.
  8. 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.

 



PRESS

UK INTERIOR DESIGNER DEVELOPS MAKER-ARTISAN ONLINE SEARCH

JUN 21, 2016  / BusinessOfHome.com

United Kingdom-based interior designer Yasmin Chopin was spending precious hours researching local suppliers, highlighting a need that has since become the springboard for her project to help other designers save time and promote local artisans. Debuted last year, Chopin’s Select a Maker, a digital directory of design professions, includes suppliers, makers and craftspeople—all locally available. She chats with EAL about her inspiration, and goals, for the designer-focused directory

UK interior designer develops maker-artisan online search
The Select a Maker search tool

How did you develop Select a Maker? 
As anyone in the profession well knows, the time taken to find a specialist craftsperson or to hunt down the perfect item for a project is far more than most people realize. A broad range of quality contacts who can produce bespoke customized work is one of the key features of a successful interior design business. It is for this reason many interior designers don’t share their contacts list.

I live in Cambridgeshire [a county in England] and my ‘patch’ is geographically wide, taking in all the surrounding counties. This means I spend a lot of time researching local suppliers for my clients. I’m very keen to use local resources, support U.K. business and help new businesses whenever possible….

I realized that an online directory of U.K.-based designers, makers and skilled craftspeople would be extremely useful, not only for myself but for other professionals and the general public. It works both ways, because I’m aware that art, craft and design businesses can struggle to get the promotion they need and welcome the opportunity to gain a wider audience. Select a Maker offers them a platform online where contacts can be made directly by those who search the directory.

How do you source the makers and artisans who appear in the directory?
Makers who join Select a Maker find us, or we find them in many different ways. I visit a lot of shows, exhibitions and events to meet makers in person, as well as making contact online and through other organizations.

We have been in business for a year now, and the database of makers is growing steadily. We have superb coverage of makers around the U.K. and represent a variety of craft skills and arts-based industries. All our makers welcome commissions, and our directory is based on three principles: The designer-makers are U.K. based; they offer a bespoke service; and they work principally in the interiors and/or gardens sector.

Makers enjoy the community spirit Select a Maker offers, and benefit from the support we can give through social media and our blog. There are many interesting opportunities that arise as a result of being part of our group; TV program makers contact Select a Maker, journalists approach us for their magazine features, exhibition and event organizers often need speakers or quotes for their publications, etc. I undertake a lot of speaking engagements and always use Select a Maker members’ work in my presentations. And having just set up our first Sponsored Membership Program, we are already seeing some very interesting business opportunities arising from the partnerships we’ve created between sponsor and maker.

What’s on the horizon for the service now? 
Our next task is to raise awareness of the Select a Maker directory among the professional interior and garden design communities. As our database grows, it will become the regular go-to place for all interior designers and garden designers working in the U.K., and potentially those overseas. Talented people who have honed their skills over years and developed innovative techniques to produce unique quality products deserve more recognition! We hope to play a big part in that.

UK interior designer develops maker-artisan online search

Yasmin Chopin, founder and creative director of Select a Maker, a bespoke interiors directory. Yasmin is listed In the top 100 design influencers by Decorex International. She regularly speaks about Blogging.

 

1 May 2016

Sponsored membership programme

Interior Designer Yasmin Chopin first published the Select A Maker website in 2015 with three aims in mind:-

  • to help interior designers find bespoke makers
  • to expand opportunities for designer-makers
  • to advance the UK’s bespoke sector

Yasmin says, “We published articles about our first designer-makers in May 2015. The Select A Maker directory features some of the most skilled artisans working in the UK today. I’m delighted to mark our first year by introducing a Sponsored Membership Programme.”

FIVE FREE PLACES

This new initiative offers five places in the online directory FREE for ONE YEAR. Talented skilled makers are encouraged to join Select A Maker by applying for one of these places. The closing date for applications is 30 May 2016.

Yasmin continued “We’re delighted to make connections that benefit both established and new businesses in the art, craft and design sector and we’re very grateful for the generosity of our 2016 industry sponsors.”

INDUSTRY SPONSORS

  • Jessica Lozano who, with her partner Lorenzo, runs Mockbee & Co. From their studio in Oxfordshire they collaborate with the UK’s best emerging designers.
  • Peter Mcferran, Peter Mcferran Interior Design, an interior designer and space planner from Cheshire who has many years experience in the luxury market.
  • Jason Ebers of Faux Creation – a specialist decoration company based in Cambridgeshire serving the luxury residential and commercial sectors.
  • Simon Shuck whose company, Inspired by Design, in Manchester initiates and manufactures creative designs for spectacular lighting.
  • Laura Hart of Hart Glass, Suffolk, a contemporary fine art glass maker whose recent work includes bespoke lighting designs.

Designer-makers who are based in the UK and offer a bespoke product or a bespoke service in the Homes or Gardens sector should apply by email to Yasmin@selectAmaker.com.

The sponsored membership programme invites applications from individuals who design and/or make bespoke items for the home or garden.

 

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

Video script:

“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!”

 



The Team

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

Our standards

  • 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!

 


 

SelectAMaker.com