Photo: Homewood. Ian Perry.
Born with a passion for woodwork
Ian Perry, founder and director of custom furniture manufacturer, Homewood, always knew he wanted to own a furniture manufacturing business. As a little boy, he loved playing with Lego. This progressed to playing with wood, hammers and nails, and Ian’s childhood hobby eventually evolved into a passion for carpentry. He attended Stellenbosch University to study forestry and wood science, with the goal of learning and understanding all he could about the raw material he had become so passionate about.
After graduating, he started out as a 1-man garage operation, and 16 years later, Ian now employs more than 90 people – most of whom had no skills prior to being employed at Homewood.
So, how did it all begin, and how did Homewood get its name? – From humble beginnings and a family homestead, that’s how.
Rooted in family history
Ian was able to start his company from a small inheritance he received from his grandmother, when she died at the ripe old age of 85. She lived in a small village in South UK, called Shrewton (near Stonehenge) – where Ian spent some of his youth learning carpentry from his grandfather, in an old wooden shed at the bottom of their garden. When his gran died, their property was sold and a portion of that was what was used to start his woodwork and carpentry company.
And guess what the name of this quaint, old, thatched house in a small village in the UK was called?
Yes – Homewood! A very fitting name for the custom, award-winning furniture manufacturers too, as their furniture is centred around 2 basic elements – home, with furniture being at the heart of it, and wood – the material their luxury furniture is crafted from. The name is a natural fit.
Photo: Supplied. Ian Perry’s Grandparents
Photo: Supplied. The cottage at Shrewton in the UK after which Homewood is named.
A South African Success Story
Homewood has now expanded into a retail chain, which currently consists of 4 showrooms – Kramerville (Johannesburg), Piggly Wiggly (KwaZulu-Natal Midlands), Umhlanga Ridge (Durban), and Riverside (Nelspruit). Ian Perry has gone on to win the prestigious DTI award (2019), and as an entity, Homewood has won over 25 excellence and best stand awards for stand designs at expos such as Decorex, Hostex, 100% Design, and the House & Garden Show, as well as being nominated for small business of the year award in 2007. (I think it is safe to say that Homewood is no longer competing in the “small business” category.)
There’s no stopping Homewood! It’s no surprise that they are about to announce a very exciting collaboration with local South African furniture and homeware giants, so watch their social media in the next few weeks for the big reveal!
FURNITURE THAT’S HANDCRAFTED FOR YOU
Homewood’s made-to-order furniture is built to last a lifetime. As custom furniture manufacturers, Homewood works with precision to make your unique idea materialise. Get in touch with the expert team at Homewood today and allow them to guide you through the process of making your custom wood furniture dreams a reality.