A Brief (not so brief now) story of how The Table Guy has evolved;
I guess this is the bit where I say that I’ve been a carpenter for 30+ years and have been making furniture for years and years, for me, this wasn’t the case. Although I have dabbled with woodwork over the years, I hadn’t really created anything in wood since school days, many moons ago. My dad did have boat building and cabinet making on his CV, so something may have rubbed off on me.
When I left school I went into engineering, where my creative skills were honed. I won’t bore you with the details so to cut a long story short, I left engineering after 8 years. I lived in Spain and Poland for nearly 20 years running various businesses eventually coming back to Blighty (2006) just in time for the recession to hit, great timing.
Anyhow, back to the woodwork. My new path really come about purely by chance. In the summer of 2014 I found that I had a bit of spare time, so I thought I’d make a table, as one does.
I didn’t really want to head down to the local B&Q (other DIY stores are available) so I decided to work with the materials that I had, fence posts, off cuts of timber, scaffold boards, a kitchen sink and a forgotten planter – the ice bucket table (now called the Prosecco Table) was about to be born.
Squaring up and sanding 15 short scaffold boards (the original table was slightly different, as we now use complete scaffold boards) wasn’t what I had planned to do with my summer break, however I could soon see that something interesting was developing.
The cuts, holes and stains of each reclaimed scaffold board gave the table real character and a certain provenance, I couldn’t wait to see what they would look like fixed on a table frame, stained and waxed.
Having lived in rural Spain, I always appreciated how the Spanish took their time to eat, everyone sitting round a table enjoying the food, swapping anecdotes of the day, even a working lunch might take 2+ hours, no limp sandwich or pot noodle in sight. In fact, the Poles also like to sit and take their time to dine, maybe the wine was replaced by vodka but still the table was a main feature of these social gatherings.
With the above in mind, I had the idea to use the planter as an ice bucket in the centre of the table, wines or beers (or vodka) could be kept cold and conversations weren’t interrupted by the departing host refilling glasses from bottles in the fridge.
A few modifications later and the first table was finished late summer 2014. Then the unexpected happened. Within a few weeks, I had an order, then another. The demand increased to a level that meant in April 2016 I decided to take the plunge and go from making tables part-time to be my new full-time profession, the start of Blue Chilli.Works. [edit: the name was changed to 'thetableguy.co.uk' 14th October 2018]
[edit: 2021] The ice bucket table is still our main product, along with the benches but I & now the team, are making other interesting rustic tables (with metal legs) that you can see on the website.
[edit: 2021: Even now after making so many tables] every time a table is created, I can visualise the conversations, the laughter, the food and the fun that can be had sitting around the centre piece of a home, the Table [the continued feedback is amazing].
February 2020 we expanded into a new workshop.
May 01st 2020: we became a Limited Company, Diversified Ventures Ltd (Company Reg. No 12476684) but still trading under The Table Guy.
July 2020: registered for VAT, number GB 353 0573 15.
What a year 2020 was, Covid_19 reared its ugly head! At first, we didn't know what this terrible virus would bring us as a business. However, we were very fortunate, as we managed to continue to work throughout and even expand.
2021 was our best year yet by a long way but we did have our problems, so it wasn’t all plane sailing, to say the least.
Demand for the Rustic Tables was so great in April & May that we had to almost stop taking orders by increasing our estimated lead-times up to 16 weeks.
In the beginning we managed to cope, but as the weeks went on, the availability of scaffold boards became a real issue and material prices were increasing weekly. Not to mention the issues that Covid has thrown at us.
Our administration department was swapped with enquiries, too be honest at one stage I didn’t know if we would cope. However, the great team that we now have all pulled together, and we managed to get all the orders out.
Apologises to those that did get their deliveries a tad later than we estimated but as we always say, our ETA’s aren’t a guarantee, you just never know what’s round the corner.
The Table Guy Team has now grown from just me (Jezz) to Maja, Kieran, Mike, Jake, Mark, Phil, Maisie and James plus our delivery guys Charles and Blade.
Who would have thought back in 2014 when I started making the first ice bucket table that in 2022 the Company would be employing 11 people, with more on the horizon – amazing!
Moving on, we are all so looking forward to this year, we have learnt a lot from 2021, we now have an even bigger workshop and I firmly believe that we are in our best ever position to manage what this year will bring.
New table designs with new materials will be launching soon.
A huge thank you to all our clients over the years, spread over nearly the whole of the British Isles, plus Eire, France, Spain, Ibiza, Germany & Cyprus.
If you have any questions, please do get in touch.
Jezz & his Brilliant Team
Please Note: Our Lead Time Estimate (not a guarantee) is displayed on each individual product - PLEASE CHECK BEFORE ORDERING - Thank you.