Gifts & Greetings Review talks to Ian Davenport, who owns Leeds-based woodturning business, Davenport’s Handmade, Davenport’s, which specialises in making unique hand made wooden bowls, jewellery boxes, pens and other wooden items.
What is your business and how did you learn your craft? I make handmade wooden bowls, pens, jewellery boxes and other wooden items. I am self-taught learned by trial and error. I find word-working very therapeutic and have been doing this full-time since April 2017.
Over time I have expanded and can now also call on the services of my father to assist as the need arises. Every item is handmade in my small Leeds based workshop, the fact that it is handmade means that you can be sure that the item you purchase will be unique.
We can also take on bespoke projects, so if you have a special request please get in touch and we can discuss your requirements. Most of my products are one of a kind owing to the nature of the materials used and the method used.
What do you love about wood turning? It helps me relax and also that you can take a plain simple piece of wood and turn it into something beautiful and practical that people love.
What is your product range? Anything wooden!
How do you market and sell your products (eg trade shows, website etc)? Website, craft fairs, twitter. I usually do several trade shows a year but lockdown obviously changed that. I did my first one in a while at Farsley in August, which was restricted to 14 stalls. Normally they have 14 outside and another 10 or so inside.
Do you have any retail customers? Yes, who I supply with oriental lamp style bird feeders. My retail orders are supplied in batches of three with a one-week lead time
How have you found this year in terms of the challenges posed by coronavirus and lockdown? I’ve had a bit of ‘cabin fever’ and have had to learn more about how to use the internet to promote my work.
Do you think people are keen to buy more handmade and British-made products because of what’s happened? Yes. I think people are beginning to realise that if they don’t support the small business then they will disappear
How do you see business evolving over the next year? An increase in sales!