A Journey Down Memory Lane: How It All Started
Meet our founder: Claire Skirrow
Interview courtesy of Laura Bartlett House Of Coco Magazine
Tell us the journey that lead you to launching your brand, Millmax Interiors…
Whilst pregnant with my second child I became obsessed with upcycling old furniture. I loved the transformation of each furniture piece. Shortly after my son was born in 2008, I founded Millmax Interiors. Initially refurbishing & reupholstering furniture in a small 300ft² workshop on the historic David Brown Tractors site. As the demand for items grew, I made the decision to offer a totally bespoke service sourcing high quality handmade furniture that is made-to-order.
You’re a family run company, who’s involved and what roles does everyone play?
When I started the company it was solely family run. I was very hands on and had the help of my husband a professional in the sales & marketing field. Indeed, the companies very name is derived from my daughters & sons names Millie & Max. Whilst still too young to work for the company both Millie & Max are frequent visitors to the office with Millie often answering phone calls & Max in the workshop and despatch area helping out. As the business is expanding year on year, we have taken on lots of employees, but we still feel like one big family.
When did you discover your love for interiors?
From a very earlier age I can remember visiting DIY stores with my grandma and coming away with lots & lots of wallpaper samples & paint colour swatches cutting them into shapes and gluing them to my bedroom furniture. These cut-outs changed often much to my mother’s dismay!
My favourite pass time is sat with a coffee in one hand and a selection of home magazines in the other – I could sit for hours lost in the pages of interiors creating my dream home.
Which item has been your best seller?
Our bespoke dining chairs remain our best seller, but with the ever-changing Covid crisis our bespoke office chairs are in high demand due people working from home.
How often do you launch new items and what’s the process behind this?
New items are constantly added to the website, identifying up & coming and current furniture trends and interior styles with each item being chosen for its unique style, quality & individuality. Whether a modern contemporary office chair or an antique reproduction armchair, every item is personally approved by me.
For any aspiring entrepreneurs, what’s the biggest lesson you have learnt since launching the brand?
Do not take any set back or criticism personally. This has been an extremely hard lesson for me to learn and I am still working on it!
What advice would you offer anyone that is thinking about starting their own business?
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can and the rest will follow.
Where do you hope to see the brand in 5 years time?
I am extremely fortunate to have lived and worked in New York when I was 21 and have visited numerous US states every year since. I love the American lifestyle. We already have many customers across the USA, my dream is to open a physical site in the sunshine state Florida. Where I can swop my coffee for a cocktail whilst sat on a beach – still enjoying my interior magazines!
When lacking motivation, what’s your go-to quote?
Inspirational quotes are my big thing! My notebooks, pinboard and my phone screen shots are littered with lots of motivational quotes. My go-to quote for motivation is ‘Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently’.