Welcome to our brand new blog series focussing on the faces behind the scenes of our growing business - our very own Tom Raffield team.
Just like the right tool for the right job, our team is the perfect fit. From the skilled hand that sketches our next innovative design, to the pair that carefully carry and pack our orders at the start of a journey, it’s teamwork that makes everything we do happen.
In our new blog series we'll be introducing you to our Tom Raffield team and delving deeper into the diverse job roles, daily routines and talents of our valued members. First up Safia, our Furniture and Design Coordinator.
TR: How long have you worked at Tom Raffield?
SN: "Seven years. I joined after completing my degree at Falmouth University, needless to say there's been a lot of change in those seven years - it's great to see how the business has evolved since those early days".
TR: What does your average day at Tom Raffield look like?
SN: "I’m lucky in the sense that there’s no real average day for me, each day is quite different and that's what makes my role really interesting. One day I can be in the workshop making our furniture designs to keep up with a high quantity of orders coming in, the next working with Tom designing upcoming ranges, or figuring out the perfect radius for a new bend.
I also spend time costing new components for products, making jigs to ensure it's as safe and easy as possible for our team to make the new designs when we come to launch them in our collection. I'll also spend time catching up with my team members to ensure they’re happy with their roles and workloads. It's fairly diverse and ever-changing depending on what designs we're developing".
TR: What would you say is the best skill you have learnt from your time at Tom Raffield?
SN: "I‘ve really come to appreciate how amazing it is to work with so many different people with such varied backgrounds and skills. You can learn so much from a team member by chatting with them - I'd say people skills are really important to have in any job, but especially in mine".
TR: What is your favourite product or range to craft?
SN: It has to be the Arbor Armchair. It was the first product I learnt how to make and had ownership of when I first joined the team seven years ago. I’ve seen the Arbor design grow and change with my time here, becoming more ergonomic and refined with each round of product development. There's something really satisfying about steam bending the single length of oak that makes up the arms and back support of the Arbor, it takes skill, (strength) and technique to master the bend successfully each time".
"I’m currently working on a new design with Tom that I'm really excited to progress, a furniture piece that might soon steal the top spot from my favourite Arbor Armchair..."
- Safia, Furniture and Design Coordinator at Tom Raffield.
TR: Why is sustainability important to you?
SN: "Sustainability means so much to me because in my lifetime I can see the negative impact we, as humans, have on our environment. The world is such a special and beautiful place, doesn’t everyone - present and future - deserve to enjoy, explore and learn from nature’s wonders?
TR: What do you like to do after work?
SN: I love going out for a walk with my husband and three dogs, I find the fresh air relaxing after a day at work. I also enjoy cooking new recipes and baking.
TR: What are your hobbies?
SN: I really enjoy reading and hiking. If I'm not in Cornwall I tend to be staying in my van somewhere remote in the Lake or Peak District exploring and spending time in nature.
SN: I live right next to Hayle beach which is just stunning in the middle of winter, there's usually no one else around. I also love woodland, Tehidy Woods on the North Coast is a great place to walk and take in the beautiful surroundings.
TR: What did you want to be when you were younger?
SN: When I was very young I actually wanted to be a designer (of sunglasses!) so I got fairly close to that in designing furniture products. I’m so happy that I focused more on the making side as I think a hands on approach really works for me, I like moving around and being on my feet for most of the day.
Thank you so much Safia - we loved talking to you about your time at Tom Raffield and learning about the passions that make you tick!