We use cookies to offer an improved online experience and offer you content and services adapted to your interests. By using our website or clicking “Accept”, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy. If you do not wish to allow cookies please disable them in your browser settings. Cookie consent.

The business

Natalie and Jame's love for low carbon, reclaimed furniture started when James decided to make the tables and bar for their wedding in 2018. They originally set up Sustain Furniture as a part time hobby to James's architecture profession and Natalie's wedding planning, however following it's success they formalised the company Sustain (Retail) Ltd in July 2019 and have opened their shop and workshop in June 2020 in Stockport.

How it started

In 2018, Stockport-based James Mather and fiancée Natalie were stunned by the cost of hiring tables and a bar for their impending wedding. With a love for low-carbon reclaimed furniture, they decided to make their own using reclaimed scaffold boards.

Named Lockdown Start-Up Award Winner at the eBay for Business Awards 2020, Sustain Furniture was originally created as a part-time hobby alongside James's architecture profession and Natalie's wedding planning.

The timing couldn’t have been better. With employees across the country now retreating from offices to work from home, the tables soon sold out. James ordered more boards, and his hobby soon took over his garage.

Within two months he'd opened a shop and workshop to complement the eBay store, having already turned over a promising £22k.

Screen Shot 2020 12 02 at 17.19.47
Screen Shot 2020 12 02 at 17.18.50
Sustain Furniture 00001
Screen Shot 2020 12 02 at 17.20.01

With Natalie and baby Isaac now out of hospital, the couple are planning to find more time to shape the look of their shop front and develop the business further.

The eBay judging team were hugely impressed with James and Natalie’s success in turning a part-time hobby into a fully-fledged business during lockdown. “Their products are beautiful, eco-friendly and timely with people still buying new desks,” they said, “and there is a lot of room for growth now that they have also set up a physical shop to complement their eBay store.”

2020 Joined eBay

5% Sales and turnover growth each month

£250,000 Projected turnover for 2020

Sustain Furniture 00001
video time: video title:

What the seller says...

“We turned our hobby of creating furniture into a business in May this year, during the first lockdown. We decided to use eBay to list our products, which has given us access to a huge variety of customers that we would not be able to otherwise reach. The business has grown so much that we have gone from using our garage as a workshop to renting a workshop space close to home. 

“Advice we would give to people looking to start their own business would be to feel the fear and do it anyway. If you have an idea that your friends and family are telling you to sell – go for it! There might be other people doing similar things, but there’s space for everyone, so don’t be put off by the competition. Finally, appeal to your local community. Now, more than ever, people need to feel part of their community and, in our experience, being close to yours will boost your joy as well as your sales.”

Discover Sustain Furniture's shop:

View shop

Real sellers

Discover the small businesses run by real sellers who are working hard to keep the country moving.

Keep up to date

Keeping up to date with the latest insights and inspiration from ITV Commercial is easy

Stay in the loop