Skinning Cats!

Skinning cats!

I’ve recently had the pleasure of watching two makers who trained at Rowden approach a very similar market opportunity in two very different ways. What excites me about this is that they came to Rowden with similar objectives. They came to master a set of skills they were already quite competent at and they left feeling very confident that David, Daren et al had passed on their wisdom as good as they could ever have hoped. Both had worked in the furniture making industry beforehand and so had a good working knowledge of how to get ahead as a maker.

And yet their approach to their businesses couldn’t be more different!

One has been on TV, works with famous organisations, is in the press, has groovy videos and, it’s fair to say, has spent a small fortune in marketing to get there. His products do not come cheap.

The other is much more frugal. He works from a modest double garage, abhors waste, especially glue(!) and doesn’t even have a website. He has built his business through word of mouth alone. His products are half the price of the first chap, and he probably makes twice as many in a year.

Go your own way

What struck me was that both are excellent makers, both have had fantastic training and guidance, both follow very similar approaches to making beautiful products and both are extremely happy and successful. And yet their business models couldn’t be more different.

That, in so many ways, is the essence of the diversity that Rowden welcomes. You come with the desire, we give you the means. And you leave with the knowledge to realise your own dreams.

Until next time,



David established Rowden Atelier in 1995, a now world renowned fine woodworking school. Discover Rowden, the woodworking courses, and the work that students go on to do.

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