A Sunderland-based upholsterer has set up his own business and workshop after honing his craft for more than 20 years.

Scott Grant launched Grants of Durham in June 2022, specialising in bespoke furniture upholstery and restoration for both residential and commercial projects.

Working closely with interior designers, Scott reconditions antique and vintage furniture, as well as upholstering new and bespoke pieces for bars, restaurants and hotels.

After working in the industry since he started his apprenticeship 24 years ago at established furniture makers, George Smith, Scott decided to setup his own business from his garage following start up support from the North East BIC.

Scott said: “My dad was an upholstery cutter at George Smith and got me an apprenticeship there when I was 17. I worked there for more than two decades creating luxury handcrafted pieces before moving to another local furniture company.

“Last year I decided it was time to branch out on my own and start my own business, as I had some great connections with designers working on exciting interior projects.

“Things got carried away working from my garage at home, so I recently moved into a unit in Washington to have a dedicated workshop for my upholstery work.”

Currently, Scott works alone but he plans to take on an apprentice in the near future to help with the growing demand of his business.

“At the moment, I’m trying to get the business off the ground, but I’d love to take on an apprentice soon,” said Scott.

“I think upholstery is a dying art, so it would be great to teach an apprentice and give someone the same opportunity I had to learn this fantastic craft.”

Scott contacted the BIC early last year to find out what support was on offer, and he was able to access free workshops and one-to-one advice to help him get started.

He added: “I was a complete novice in starting a business and came into it completely blind, so it was great to have the support of the BIC.

“I attended a number of their Flying Start workshops, which taught me everything from how to promote my business on social media to the financial side of things. The support has been invaluable.”

Janice Marsh, business adviser at the BIC, said: “We were delighted to support Scott in starting up his upholstery business. His passion and years of experience in the industry is the perfect example of how you can start your own business at any stage in your career.”