Geoff Collard has been working in the wood trade for 40 years, having served his apprenticeship at a small specialist workshop in Newbury. He had always had an interest in making things by hand and began his apprenticeship at the age of 16 in 1978. in 1982 Geoff went self-employed, working from the back of a van. In 1984 he moved to the city of Bath, providing a high volume of renovation work and establishing a loyal customer base. As a child Geoff always wanted to work in the special effects department at pinewood studios but as he got to the age of seriously deciding on his career he was advised that the film industry at that time was a bit up and down as you may have work for a length of time then there may be nothing for ages, so he decided to become a bench joiner and furniture maker but any chance he had would always be fiddling with different crafts and built up a wealth of experience over the years.
Every project that Geoff undertakes is hand crafted using traditional tools and great attention to detail. Geoff begins his work by establishing a clear list of the client’s requirements and will come up with a design to suit the room or application that it is intended for, whether it be free standing or fitted. Geoff maintains that the biggest selling point of his service is the absolute focus on detail and intricacy. All work he produces is hand crafted by himself alone, rather than passing through several hands, as may be the case with larger companies. He has found that some customers come to him after experiencing dissatisfaction with the services that have been provided by bigger companies. Geoff’s personal service is assurance in the quality of his work and after 40 years in business he has not received one single complaint about anything that he has built.
Since setting out alone on his business venture Geoff has enjoyed tremendous and endless success. To date he has never had a single day without work and he lives the kind of working life that we all crave. Geoff has no desire to expand or grow the business as he would inevitably lose his personal touch. He also enjoys keeping things simple and manageable and is only interested in making quality pieces without the stress and hassle of running a larger company.
Geoff conducts his work from one of six industrial units at the Wansdyke Workshops in Bath, along with the help of his trusted companion, Ruff the dog. 90% of all work he completes comes from recommendations from satisfied customers and whilst Ruff might not be quite so fussed, any project won’t leave Geoff’s workshop until he himself is 100% satisfied with the result. If it doesn’t measure up to his high standards then it is not complete. If there is one thing in particular that Geoff relishes about his work, its the individual pieces, the unusual jobs or requests.
One of Geoff’s recent achievements has been the completion of a fantastic scale doll’s house for one of his customers. Geoff took over 200 photos along with detailed measurements of the real house to begin his work. The detail that he went into was extraordinary, making over 2000 mdf slates for the roof, with each one going through four processes to get the right look. Spread over a period of a year and a half, the house took Geoff several months to build.