60 furnishings industry younger stars recognised with award

The achievements of 60 of the British furniture and furnishings industry’s brightest younger stars have been recognised in a new national awards campaign designed to celebrate the talents, and contributions of the next generation working within the sector.

As part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry, has announced the winners of its ‘60 for 60’ Awards which showcase the talents of 60 outstanding young people, under the age of 35, who are working in the furniture and furnishing industry.

From product designers, cabinetmakers and technical developers to logistics professionals, commercial managers and operations directors, the awards highlight the diverse range of career opportunities available for young people in the furnishings industry.

Announced at a special ‘60 for 60’ awards ceremony held in the City of London on 5 December, winners who are working in furniture making and furnishings firms across the UK include 35-year-old Rollie Attard, CEO of Burnley-based fabrics supplier Panaz. Rollie impressed judges by spearheading a strategic plan to drive the future growth of the business, including recruiting key personnel in the UK and Germany, restructuring the UK sales team and establishing a London showroom.

Jade Farthing, 35, managing director of Somerset-based Haskins Furniture, is the fourth generation of the Haskins family to work in the business, which was founded in the 1930s. The firm’s first female director, she has led the strategic restructuring and refocus of the business, informed by her retail experience and academic background, as well as helping to earn some prestigious business awards for Haskins Furniture.

In Lincoln, Anna Parkinson, 31, operations manager of doormats supplier Make An Entrance, has supported the firm’s evolution from an online sales and marketing company to a thriving manufacturing business that is growing, both in the UK and internationally.

Amanda Waring, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “We received hundreds of entries for ’60 for 60’, ranging from woodworking to carpet and textile design, showing not only the vibrancy and diversity of British talent, but also that the industry continues to offer exciting and rewarding career opportunities. We congratulate every one of our 60 outstanding winners and look forward to sharing our members’ mentoring skills and providing networking opportunities as they continue to develop their professional careers.

“While we have a long history of supporting the UK’s flourishing and world-renowned furniture and furnishings industry, and are celebrating 60 years since we were awarded livery status, we are very much a modern organisation and it is vital that we use our position to reward and recognise emerging talent in the sector.”

Expert judges, including furniture and award-winning garden designer Amanda Waring, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company; Carla Barnett, group HR director of international luxury interior furnishings company Sanderson Design Group; Edward Tadros, long-time chairman of iconic British furniture brand ercol; Sue Kemp, managing director of Associated Independent Stores and John Makepeace OBE, who has had an illustrious award-winning career as a designer, maker and teacher, reviewed the submissions and selected the ’60 for 60’ winners.

To find out more about ‘60 for 60’ go to www.furnituremakers.org.uk/60for60

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