Welcome to a Spotlight On Plane & Sanded. Plane & Sanded are a family run small business based in London. The talented duo, Matt and Amy, create beautiful home decor items from reclaimed scaffold boards and I have loved following their journey on social media. I recently asked them some a few questions – one, because I’m nosey and two, because I love getting to know the background of a small business and I wanted to share it with you too!
Picture credits: @planeandsanded
1. Why did you want to start this business?
Two Christmases ago, Matt and I didn’t have enough money to buy Christmas presents for everyone and were racking our brains for creative things we could make to give to our family and friends. Matt had made us some shelves from scaffolding boards and thought he could make a serving board in the same way! So we did this and at the time our friend Phyl was living with us and said he loved them and would pay for them and that we should try to sell them. So we put them on Etsy and got quite a few sales and that was the beginning of it all!
The next year, we played around with some more things, Matt made us a coffee table, a side table, a bench and then a dining table and around this time we had friends who wanted to buy the shelves that he had very first made. We decided to tentatively start a business and put some shelves on Etsy and the rest is history, it has been 10 months and has just grown and grown more than we ever could have imagined.
2. How did you decide on the name for the business?
Both our families live in Devon and it’s a long drive! We always have these amazing chats on the drive and make important life decisions. We knew we wanted to launch a company and so on the drive we threw around ideas and we wanted to include sanded or sanding, because this is the part of the process that takes a completely unloved and disused piece of wood and makes it into this beautiful item. Then Matt suddenly talked about planing the wood and we came up with Plane & Sanded!
3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
We are both really driven and ambitious. Having met at drama school and been originally in a business that is very challenging and requires you to be completely ok with lots of “no’s” and setbacks, we don’t tend to give up very easily. We feel really inspired by the idea of people having our products in their homes. Every time we see a customer picture, it just makes all the hard work so completely worth it. We also feel really passionately about using recycled or reclaimed wood and try to limit waste as much as we possibly can. It feels amazing to change something and make it beautiful.
4. What difficulties have you had?
Without a doubt, the hardest part is working our business around our two young children, Finley (who is 4) and Bertie (who is 2). We do involve them in everything we do as that is how we live as a family, but sometimes it can be really challenging to entertain two young children and still produce and package something without Finley hiding the tape measure or Bertie unravelling the cellotape!!!
Also, with Matt still working full time as a teacher, it means working every evening till very late and all weekend too! It’s definitely a busy time at the moment!!!
5. What do you enjoy most?
Working together. We make a really great team and are great at being the energy for the other when one of us is tired! We love receiving pictures from our customers too and I personally love building my Instagram account as I didn’t even know how Instagram worked a few months ago and now I love it!!!
6. What advice would you give?
The biggest thing is to dream big and have the courage to go for an idea if you have one. Life is too short not to! On a practical level, being organised and having systems for things is something that we are still learning now because of how fast the business has grown. But it is really exciting and we love learning new things and finding new efficient ways to develop.
7. What exciting plans do you have for 2020?
We want to launch some new products and also start selling our tables and benches nationwide as we currently don’t sell these through Etsy. But recently we sent our first table and bench by courier across the country and the feedback has been so wonderful and has given us the confidence to expand our products. We are also looking to build a new website and work on our brand image and later this year will be filming a short promotional business film which we are really excited (and nervous!) about. During lockdown we have been so lucky to be able to carry on working and we are unbelievably grateful to all our amazing customers, particularly at this time as it really does keep our little business alive!
I love the business that Matt and Amy have created and I can’t wait to see how their new plans unfold. I hope that you enjoyed learning more about this small business too. Please head to their Instagram and Etsy pages for more information about new products to come!