The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire TBE S&W JUNE JULY 2017 - Page 14

MADE IN WILTSHIRE By Features Editor, Fiona Scott Manufacturing is an important part of the UK business sector contributing something like £6.7 trillion to the global economy. Figures show manufacturing currently stands at about 45 per cent of UK exports and employs around 2.7 million people in the UK. The big manufacturing communities are still concentrated in the north of England but here in Wiltshire we have some notable names including Dyson, Honda, BMW, GripIt and many, many more. In fact we have many small producers in our county who often go under the radar and are not widely known among the business community. A colourful and diverse manufacturing community across Swindon and Wiltshire is something we should all be proud of. Often hidden away in bespoke workshops or factories – or even kitchen tables – all of these producers add to the vibrant economy in our county. Each year at the Business Exchange we celebrate and share some of their stories. 14 THE BUSINESS EXCHANGE 2017 McCarron & Co, Bromham, Devizes This company makes high quality, handcrafted bespoke furniture which is showcased in Wiltshire and London. They take commissions from all over the UK and overseas. Julie McCarron is the sales and marketing director. How old is McCarron & Co? Describe your customers? The company was set up in 2009 by a group of craftsmen who formerly worked for a luxury kitchen brand which underwent some structural changes. When the Bromham workshop was under threat of closure, six of the team decided to go out on their own as talented and experienced furniture makers. We do tend to work with high net worth individuals, interior designers, architects and property developers. We offer bespoke furniture for all rooms in the home including kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, boot rooms, wine rooms and media rooms. Typically a customer would be looking to spend from £35,000. How big is the company today? Today we have a staff of 56 and those six original investors are still working within the business. Our managing director is 46-year-old Andy McCarron but it was a group decision to use his name for the business. We do have a family feel and it’s all about the craftsmanship here. I recently joined the company as sales and marketing director, I’m Andy’s sister and there is a family feel within the business. We have showrooms in Bromham, Chelsea and Notting Hill. What’s coming up in the future? We’re looking to refresh our Bromham showroom to reflect some of the styles chosen by our customers over recent months. What is your company’s aim? Our aim is to re-define bespoke furniture, creating pieces which suit every customer’s individual needs and desires. Our showrooms offer inspiration and give people a starting point to fire their own imaginations. Many will often travel to Wiltshire just to see the workshop in action to see how their furniture is made by hand and to order. For more info: www.mccarronandco.com Muso Mirror, Calne Set up by Alphonso Archer, 53, the company offers mirrors for musicians that can be attached to a music stand allowing the performer to observe their playing technique and self correct as they practice or perform. How did Muso Mirror come about? This invention was the result of a light-bulb moment for me. I’ve been playing the guitar and the piano since childhood and I was taught to play the guitar in particular using a mirror. It makes it easier to see what you are doing without twisting your body and craning your neck to ensure your fingers are in the right place. I’ve done this ever since and always advised my students to do the same. “One day a pupil told me it was a pain to set up a mirror to do it and I realised instantly that I could do something about that.” How did you create your 1st bespoke mirror? I literally visited a local DIY shop bought a lamp and a mirror and created a simple prototype to test it out. I then created a second prototype which was more refined and took it to music and education shows to test its appeal. Altex Engineering Ltd to produce three versions of our mirror. The first production run was in January. What’s next? There’s so much more to come. I’ve been invited to introduce Muso Mirror at various events across the UK including to the Birmingham Conservatoire and I’m in talks with a possible distributor in the USA. This isn’t rocket science. The problem it solves is that musicians can see what they are doing. For example, cello players can see and review their bowing technique and maintain good posture. Also there are lots of travelling teachers of music and this is a portable solution. It act X[BYY\HX\[\\[\ݚY[˜[Y]܈\H[X[ ]\H\ۜO’]8&\ۙHوH[X\\\Z[H[\H8$[B[Y]HH\YX\\H H[H\ۜH\[X^[˂H[\X]\Y[YHXY^[\܈HYX][ۂ[]\X[\H[H[Y[\YYHۈHZ[]\K\H[HX[HZ\ܜ^O’H\[XYH\[HX8$H[&][Y]B\8$\HX]YHZ[]\H^HYKHQX] ݙYHYXH[x&[Hܚ[]܈[ܙH[΂˛]\Z\܋