As a team we have been lucky enough to work with some of the market leaders in the British homewares industry, Habitat, Conran and Pedlars amongst others. We finally reached a stage in our lives when we realised we had our own strong vision and wanted to bring that to the market and have some fun along the way. If we are honest we also had enough of meetings and some of the corporate stuff so we struck out on our own. We chose the name Merchant & Found because we love the honesty of being Merchants, buying and selling, keeping it simple, and we love to discover and hunt out the truly special pieces, the Found.
The DNA of what we stand for is simple, we have been immersed in ‘home’ for many years and ultimately our Merchant & Found compass is guided by a few simple beliefs.
Vintage: It has been gathering momentum for many years and we are true believers. If a piece has been well designed and well made, then yes it’s great to have it new but it can be even better to have it old, an old piece has soul, it has the scars of life and can tell so many stories. We have always been fans of the original fiberglass Eames chairs, the very early fifties ones have an amazing colour that you just don’t get in the current plastic production. We also don’t like the disposable world we live in so if we can do our bit to give beautiful things a second life then that makes us happy. We buy our vintage literally all over Europe. We cover thousands of miles on the hunt for the truly special. We look for good quality beautiful pieces that have soul and are hopefully affordable. We particularly look for pieces with an industrial heritage, mostly 20th century, built to last, by makers who are either still going or have sadly stopped producing. Britain and Europe has a rich heritage of industrial vintage and we want to bring it alive. Where we know the maker we will let you know, we spend a lot of time researching and hope we can pass that knowledge on. We keep a running list of brands we love, both old and new, in our ‘brands’ section.
New: We have spent a lifetime working with some of the worlds great home brands and we are slowly and surely partnering with the ones we believe offer that something special. They have a history of timeless design, a quality of product and a way of doing business. We love combining old and new and as we find our feet and our business grows we will introduce more new to complement the old. A vintage table looks amazing with the right new contemporary chairs. A bold contemporary table can be softened with vintage chairs.
Design: We have a deep love of design. We respect the old and love the new. We love contemporary design but try to see beyond what is on trend and prefer what will be here in years to come. Historical design gives us a huge head start in this respect, the designs that survive and flourish are timeless, beautifully made, fit for purpose and above all great to look at. They have soul.
Editors: From all of the above you could say we are editors. At Merchant & Found we are bringing you our vision of products that we love to live with, to use very day, to bring pleasure in daily life.
We have been unashamedly selfish in selecting what we love. Architects believe (quite rightly) that a well designed space can enrich the experience of those that use their buildings, more often without even realising it. The proportions of a room, the use of light and space all fundamentally influence our enjoyment. We believe that the furniture and objects you use everyday do the same, they are part of your DNA and chosen well, should enrich your every day life.
So we have started our journey, we launched in the Spring of 2018 and hope you like what we do.
Paul Middlemiss and the team from Merchant & Found