Over the last few weeks we conducted a series of case studies with clients who bring ethical, localised manufacturing to the forefront of their businesses. This week we speak to the Flint based company Mij Moj, which was founded by designers Gafyn Owen and Sean Nelson. The company designs and crafts unique, handmade gifts and bespoke furniture from sustainably sourced timber.
Can you tell me a bit about MijMoj and where the idea for building a business around a creative studio came from?
Essentially we started making bespoke furniture, and then from the events and shows we exhibited at, started making a range of smaller items that we could sell off the stand as gifts. Since then the business has just grown and grown.
We’re now selling online, myself and my business partner Sean are both from a design background having studied together at University and always wanted to work for ourselves. We set up the business with the intention of developing our own products and being our own bosses.
Why is local and ethical manufacturing such an important and integral part of your business?
All the materials we use are natural materials; the timber we use is mainly oak, walnut, ash, which is ethically sourced and environmentally friendly. The leather that we use is of course also a natural product. We make all our own products here in the UK by hand, a simple style that fits in with the materials we use and it’s designed to last. We source the materials from local suppliers, although some of the timber is from Europe – the timber doesn’t grow quick enough in this country for what we need – but we still source from local companies as much as possible.
What are you most proud of, and what’s the next chapter in your story?
We’re proud of moving to a new premises- we’ve taken on one in the last two years. We were originally working from a small workshop or converted garages in Llanfairfechan, but recently we relocated to Flint to a brand new 3000 square foot premises – so just having the space is great.
The workshop’s set up as we’d like, it’s definitely quite an achievement from our point of view, so that’s been quite nice. We are also seeing growth in our international sales and see this as very much our next chapter exporting to more countries overseas.
Your Experience With Stitched Boxes
What are the features you love most about Stitchedboxes?
They’re made of kraft card and uncoated and they’re not glossy like the kind of packaging that you usually see in retailers. It’s more in keeping with our brand, the kind of ethical values that come with using natural materials to make your products; quite honest about how its made, how its stitched, the same way as how our products are hand-finished, hand-crafted.