Kador Upholstery

“Outset is brilliant. Every member of the team is like one big support network. Outset gave us the confidence to start our own business.”

Steve and Maika’s story

The inspiration for setting up Kador (Cornish for chair) Upholstery, the brainchild of husband and wife Steve and Maika Medlyn, was the desire to help keep the craft of traditional upholstery alive.

After taking voluntary redundancy, Steve decided to fulfil a lifelong dream to be his own boss. As both he and Maika had a background and interest in furniture making, they decided to set up their own business.

A dying art for many years, the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers Diploma is helping to train people like Steve in traditional furniture restoration.

“There has been quite an upsurge in upcycling old furniture,” explained Steve. “People buy an old piece of furniture and want it restored to its former glory. Stripping back a chair is like stripping back history. We want to make sure that we are true to the heritage of each piece we work on.”

After searching the internet for support in getting started, the pair got in touch with Outset Cornwall to find out more about their business support services.

“The Outset team has been absolutely amazing,” praised Maika. “There were lots of things we hadn’t considered and things we thought we knew, the advice has been invaluable. Having all that information on tap in one place has really helped us.”

Kador’s plans for the future include a working partnership with local bespoke furniture manufacturers and diversification into leather repairs, vehicle and marine upholstery and French polishing.

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