Tim Wood has featured in the following publications:
25 January 1985
When determination pays off
Tim Wood, still in his 20s, has come a long way thanks to old fashioned dogged persistence. It got him into John Makepeaces School for Craftsmen in Wood at Parnham House: it got him a selling job on his terms at the Conran Shop: now its getting him into business on his own.
Tim Wood was so desperate to get into John Makepeace's School at Parnham House he was prepared to work in the Parnham grounds as a gardener. In the end he did not have to resort to this. He walked in legitimatley through the front door.
I have always been interested in wood and I was determined to get into Parnham House, whatever. I had worked for six months, before that I was at school, he explains.
Now 21, Tim Wood still feels his age is a disadvantage. I look 10 years too young.
But this did not stop him making his presence felt soon after he graduated from Parnham House. I was in a workshop in Devon for six months, but I got fed because I was working
like mad and making a pittance. My idea then was to come to London and start on my own.
Instead of diving in head first he decided he neede time out to think things through. I took a job working for a company doing all sorts of things, such as cleaning loos. Meanwhile he wrote to retailers
and manufacturers to introduce himself. From nearly 70 letters he received 50 replies, and he wrote to people such as Fortnum and Mason, General Trading Company, Aspreys, Habitat, Heals,Maples and Hille.
Then I had a job offer from the Conran Shop to be a salesman. And I jumped at it. I came to an arrangement with them that I did not need a lunch break so I could come in late in late each morning having worked for myself beforehand.
But it got a bit out of hand because people used to phone me at work.
I was supposed to be there for a year, but in the end it was only three months. It was a good experience because I saw what people wanted, and what they did not like. From there he set up business himself, close to Waterloo Bridge
in London. I am spending my time getting my ranges sorted out, and not doing much selling. But he has approached some of the people on his contracts list. So far the companies I have been aiming to reach are design companies.
But he is hoping to reach retailers too - for himself , and in his secondary role as agent for David Colwell. He came upon this job through David having been a visiting lecturer at Parnham House and also one of the trustees.
Keeping in touch with fellow students and lectures is important for future business, Tim Wood feels. I am still in touch with most of the lecturers of my year at Parnham house, who also taught at the Royal Cllege of Art. They were a great design input.
He believes the RCA tutors provided a much needed filip on the design front at Parnham House. Our year had the biggest design input that Parnham House had ever had, and the course changed. Another year may have a preponderance of Craftsmen and the course will change again.
My furniture is not really craft oriented, and I do not think David Colwell's is. But I do feel you have to know the basics of technique and how things go together so that the design works. It will be a little longer before Tim Wood completes his range of designs. At the moment he is very conscious that he is running his own business. I have go to make a living at the end of the day.
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