Paul Pettman spent 15 years in the carpentry trade, with dreams of one day having his own business. Ten years ago, he struck out alone and created Kernow Carpentry. Thanks to his drive and ambition, the company, which builds bespoke workspaces for music producers, DJs and radio studios, is now thriving with the help of online sales through Amazon Marketplace.
Paul explains how the company was established, and how it grew from his two passions – carpentry and music.
“I worked for years as a carpenter but I always had a passion for music too. I know the requirements of producing and recording radio shows, DJ sets and music. Kernow Carpentry saw me combine my carpentry skills and knowledge of the music industry to bring unique products to the market.”
Citing Kasabian and the BBC among its customer base, Kernow Carpentry now manufactures custom DJ booths, tables, production desks, recording desks, broadcast and composer desks, and vinyl record storage.
“We’ve worked with a few big names to kit out their studios with desks and storage, but we also have bigger projects with hospital and college radio stations. They all have their individual requirements so it’s up to us to make sure we create the best product for them.
“Kasabian approached us about helping them out after finding us online and liking the furniture we had worked on in the past. The BBC work came through a radio engineer who uses us to produce furniture for his clients, so that was less direct but still great to get. It’s great that our furniture is all over the country, from international bands to more local projects like Exeter College and University Studios and radio stations in Barnstaple and Truro.
“You never know where new business might come from, but having your name and your work out there is really important.”
After selling products online for a while, Paul joined Amazon Marketplace and brought Kernow Carpentry to Amazon Handmade, a store for invited artisans to sell their unique, handcrafted goods to Amazon’s customers worldwide. Despite only joining in 2016, Amazon Marketplace already accounts for approximately 20% of Kernow Carpentry’s annual turnover.
“Amazon Marketplace has made it a lot easier to get our products to market and reach customers around the world. This, combined with the ability to tell the story behind our business via our product pages mean it provides a wealth of opportunities for unique businesses like ours.”
Currently Kernow Carpentry sells mostly to the UK, with customer-led, bespoke orders accounting for the majority of sales.
In regard to the future of the business, growth is the main focus for Paul. “We’re really aiming to continue to build on our reputation in the industry and getting our name out there. We’re lucky to be in quite a niche market, and so the word spreads pretty easily. We are growing all the time but remain focused on keeping that personal touch which ensures our custom project service continues to provide quality bespoke technical furniture that meets all our customers’ needs.”