Although I can’t pinpoint exactly when it was that I stopped worrying about where the next Good Measure job would materialise from, it was, I am sure, a very long time ago. That concern has now been replaced by intrigue as I have come to realise that more often than not, the next job will invariably materialise from absolutely nowhere or at best a random set of circumstances.
In late August, having been away for a few days I decided to check on the works and collect the post even though it was a Sunday. There was nothing to suggest that “Christmas” was about to enter my world earlier than was customary but enter it did. For this was the day I first met Tom and Louis who were busy moving into their new premises – and being a bit curious I asked what line of business they were in. “Christmas” was the reply I got. As is both polite and customary Tom reciprocated my enquiry to which naturally I informed them that we are bespoke cabinet makers. Louis had not said much at this point. Instead he started tapping away at the screen of his phone. Then, after a clearly satisfactory search, presented me with an image on the screen. “Can you make these?” he calmly asked. “Yes we can” I said. And that was it – another Good Measure project was born.
And being a bit curious I asked what line of business they were in. “Christmas” was the reply
All projects have their unique challenges and the obvious difficulty that faced us here was time, or lack of it, given that all the normal lead in had been eroded by a supplier that had unexpectedly let our new clients down. The brief was to produce eight flagship sales counters that “The Handmade Christmas Company” could install for eight weeks annually in various stores. This year the company has some 48 pop up locations in stores such as Hamleys, Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis to name but a few. The idea that the ‘fleet’ could be without its ‘command ships’ was not acceptable. So, instead of focusing on the near impossible timescale we focused on getting the design nailed down.
One of Good Measures great strengths is our ability to design thoroughly and accurately. We use cutting edge Solidworks design software which enables us to build a virtual 3d model of all of our work prior to production and to use the embedded data for individual component production. We were able to get a fully engineered design out within 3 days and shortly afterwards the project went into production.
Unlike a conventional sales desk which will seldom be moved, the pop up counters would have to be lighter in weight whilst still being robust. They would also need to be modular so that parts could be disassembled and stored in a reasonably small space until they are required again for the next year. Good Measure is able to work with multiple different materials and finishes and this ability assisted us with this particular project. We designed internal carcass components using pre-finished melamine faced mdf and a 2mm feature colour abs edging. The mdf core is denser than standard chipboard helping it withstand the constant moving that would come with desks that pop up – and down. However the weight of the outer panelling, being the larger components, would be an issue particularly for the front of house desk section. We needed a solution that would not require an army of body builders to do the installations, particularly as in some stores the larger parts would have to be carried up stationary escalators to reach their final destination. After throwing around a few ideas we eventually concluded that the best option would be to use a light weight Euorolite 38mm panel material.
..I think I ought to collect the post on Sunday’s more often
The only problem was that the units had to be the Handmade Christmas Company burgundy – which with plenty of lead time would not usually present a problem. Over to our suppliers for this one and I am pleased to say that Catherine Linborne at Lathams surpassed herself with this one, tracking down an option that was the right colour with immediate availability. The wide edging looked to be a deal breaker but determined as ever Catherine tracked down what we needed with some of their European partners and had the wide edging individually couriered to us within 3 days.
All in all, the project was a huge success due to a focused team effort. Our thanks goes out to Tom and Lewis and all their staff at Handmade Christmas who were a flexible, supportive and constructive client to work with. Additionally we are grateful to our talented in-house staff at Good Measure and our very supportive suppliers and contractors who we have become accustomed to going the extra mile for us without question. Their dedication, skill and professionalism is to be applauded. And I think I ought to collect the post on Sunday’s more often.
Photos: Rebecca East | Insta: beccaeast94