Creative Workshop – The Ashton Difference

The importance of your brand

We want to really convey something special in our work and for our name to be synonymous with quality and tradition. So, what is in our name? Ashton was appropriate for many reasons. Ashton from old English, literally means “from the town with ash trees”. We use this wonderful tree in our logo and our premises are set against the backdrop of the Southdown’s as well as the shade of ashes in the forest on the hill above the workshop. We want this brand to really shape our way of thinking and how we approach work day to day.

The Ashton difference starts right from the planning stage. Our onsite meeting room is where we start this process of bringing our clients ideas to life. It’s a creative space that we use to imagine the design in production weighing up different materials and finishes within our sample library. Every step of the way is a collaborative process, where designers, architects and clients can realise their designs.

Workshop and sample Image Ashton Bespoke

Invest in your team

We know there is no i in team at Ashton Bespoke so our people are important. We invest in them so that our clients benefit in return. This doesn’t just mean having company outings or get-togethers – though we absolutely do this – it means nurturing talent. We want our business to evolve, adapt and grow and that means we want the same for our staff. We believe in high levels of training, investing in machinery and ensuring we have a safe workshop for our valuable team. We listen to our staff when they have training needs, or they voice their ambitions for the future.

Workshop - Ashton Bespoke Team

Traditional techniques and technology investment

Everything about the way companies are doing business has had to change recently. If we really care about our success, then businesses should always strive to evolve. This does mean finding different ways to work that can incorporate social distancing and safe practises, but it also means investing in your team. Ensuring you achieve excellence in your people by nurturing traditional artisan techniques alongside investing modern developments in tools and technology. Britain has long enjoyed the respect of the world for its high standard of furniture makers. These skilled craftsmen have honed their ability over centuries with generations passing on their knowledge coupled with innovations in tooling that enable cabinetmakers to work more efficiently. Some of these basic techniques are largely unchanged over time but now of course as with so many elements of life, we have access to incredible technology that can aid this process and achieve results that may have otherwise not been possible. The end result: British fine furniture that is valued and sought after the world over.  

Ashton Bepoke Setting and Office

South Downs National Park – The Perfect Location

South Downs National Park

At Ashton it’s not just about our furniture, we believe in our location too. Based in the Hampshire village of South Harting, we were fortunate to acquire premises that are steeped in history. Ashton offices and workshops sit on the site of a 16th century farm. Farming has in fact been taking place in this area since medieval times and we feel blessed to be able to take in the rolling hills of the South Downs as we work. When we have time to take a break then it’s a short walk to the picturesque village of South Harting and the local pub. The White Hart is a fine old village inn dating from the 17th century full of character and charm. Especially in winter with its big open fire place, and welcoming local ale’s

16th Century Farm images, Ashton Bespke
Local Pub to Ashton Bespoke, South Harting, Petersfield,

Onsite facilities

Ashton Bespoke comprises of 300m2 of manufacturing workshop capability with in – house finishing. Our office and showroom/meeting room offer an extensive sample library to clients, enabling them to easily compare materials and finishes for their projects. In addition to our in-house finishes, we work closely with a selection of British artisans that offer alternative finishes that cannot necessarily be found on the high street.

Workshop, Craftsmanship,Ashton Bespoke

Strategically positioned

The location is not only picturesque farm building surrounded by rolling hills, for us it was a strategic business decision. Ashton is just 5 minutes from Petersfield off the A3 or the main line from Waterloo to Portsmouth. We wanted to sit on the Hampshire Surrey border and be able to service those markets needs but also be in prime position to service the London market. We know that the designers and architects we work with have London based clients looking for high end bespoke capabilities. 

Location of Ashton Bespoke, South Harting, Petersfield

Project planning

Whilst often in the initial planning stages we will meet clients onsite to assess their project. We know that who we are is also important so there is a warm welcome for all who come to visit us at Ashton. Once a project is underway, our location ensures we can easily be accessed if samples need to be viewed in our workshops and equally affords us the ability to be onsite quickly to meet clients. This creative interaction during the planning stage is important for us and our clients. The design process is so valuable which is why we have this creative space at Ashton to interact. We know how important meaningful creative planning and communication is towards the end goal of the project, our bespoke furniture.

Workshop Ashton Bespoke Luxury Furniture

Covid 19 UK – Remote Workforce

Life under lockdown

Social distancing, shielding,  self isolation; all words that regrettably have entered our daily vocabulary. The word social has always been positive, associated with the parties and events that punctuate our lives which we look forward to. The addition of the word distancing after now makes it feel like a popped balloon. There’s not much I wouldn’t do for a cold beer in a pub garden right now! This has been a unique situation which no doubt will go down in the history books. Many of us will have spent lockdown resting, reflecting, spending time with family, appreciating nature but just as many of us will have been worried, anxious and angry. I think I have ticked every box and felt every emotion.

The new normal

But there is light at the end of tunnel as we begin the slow easing of restrictions. We all  have to  find a way to live and work in these new conditions because it will be a long time until we go back to normal if at all. So how do we adjust to doing business and still manage to adhere to social distancing protocols? Well we are fortunate here at Ashton Bespoke to have the infrastructure and premises to work safely within guidance. We have carried out a risk assessment and made the changes we felt we needed to ensure the health and safety of our staff and anyone who needs to visit us on site.  

Workshop

We have a small highly skilled team of makers who are able to adequately space out across the workshop. When appropriate they have access to adequate PPE and are adhering to government guidance on hand washing and hygiene.  We have instigated staggered start times and tea breaks.  Where we can, doors are left open to avoid touching the handles and surfaces are regularly cleaned, with an extended  route  in place.   

Office based staff  

Ashton Bespoke supports flexible working practices and those involved with our project management, drawing dept,  sales, social media and marketing  are able to work from home. We are fortunate enough to enjoy superb I.T. support enabling the team to  have remote access as well as hold meetings across platforms such as Zoom. We’ve had fun adjusting to the etiquette of talking to multiple colleagues onscreen as well as engineering the most flattering camera angles!

Caroline (Sales & Marketing) with new lockdown puppy Benji

Our clients

We believe with a strong protected infrastructure behind us we  are able to service our clients safely. We carry out all appointments and project discussions electronically. Should clients wish to meet us face to face we have a meeting room that can be accessed directly from our car park and internally has sufficient space to socially distance. We have evolved and will continue to adapt to the situation as the guidance changes. 

British bespoke furniture maker launches

Ashton Bespoke – British bespoke furniture maker launches – Graham’s story

We are pleased and proud to launch Ashton Bespoke. The new name in luxury interiors but with a heritage that is steeped in three decades of craftsmanship and experience.

Graham Goodall the managing director started his adventure within the industry as an apprentice carpenter and joiner. On completing this he took a year out to go travelling and spent time in the Algarve Portugal. Back in the UK, he felt drawn to return to the Algarve with just his hand tools, not knowing what the future would hold. However before long he saw a niche in the marketplace for high quality architectural joinery, Graham’s growing reputation for fine workmanship resulted in an increasing demand for his purpose built furniture, leading to his transition to a bespoke furniture maker and rebranding as Goodall Fine Furniture.  

In 2010 Graham decided to close his company and end his  nineteen year  relationship with Portugal and returned to England. He began employment with Stephen Clasper Interiors in Surrey and found himself back in the niche market of supplying bespoke furniture for  the  high  end  residential market. Graham worked closely with Stephen over the years helping to create and manufacture unique furniture designed by Stephen. In 2015 the company’s  work received recognition, winning Design et al, IDA awards for  best  interiors, UK properties awards and SBID awards for best kitchen.  In 2016, Graham left Stephen Clasper Interiors in order to relocate to Bournemouth, Dorset, with his partner Lisa. There he worked within a couple of companies in the luxury furniture industry whose customer base was  also  primarily  with in  the high  end residential market, around  the home counties and  London.  

Ashton Bespoke Owner Graham Goodall . British bespoke furniture maker
Ashton Bespoke Logo. British bespoke furniture maker

New beginnings in Hampshire

At the end of 2018 Graham found the opportunity to  acquire  the assets of a  furniture business  just outside  Petersfield in  Hampshire. After a year of sailing under the umbrella of the  old  company’s  name,  it became apparent that the company required a new identity.  Graham wanted to bring his experience and distinctiveness; take a fresh approach and rename the business. Ashton Bespoke was born, a name that Graham felt encapsulated his vision of the business going forward. 

Images of Ashton Bespoke Workshop, Ashton Bespoke View and Ashton Bespoke Office Sign. British bespoke furniture maker

The Ashton difference

What we do here is interpret your design and ensure this is fulfilled whilst considering the client’s budget. We work in a way that stays true to your design and doesn’t compromise either the finish or the budget. This is an ‘innate’ skill at Ashton something we’ve mastered with time, experience and knowledge; born from the passion and desire to deliver above and beyond for our customer. We have learnt to use  various  materials  and finishes  that may not be readily associated with furniture making. We’ve developed an understanding of the way those materials inherently work differently to each other but in turn complement one another.  

Graham says “I have been in the industry of creating and delivering exceptional furniture for luxury interiors within the high-end residential market for some 30 plus years. I am a very passionate individual who cares about  the end result  and takes great pride in my work; nothing less than extraordinary will do. My aim has always been to work closely with the interior designer, architect and developers as well as the end client, to realise their vision. Supported by the skilled team at Ashton I’m able to deliver and exceed expectations.”   

Business beyond Covid 19

The past year has had its ups and downs particularly recently with the pandemic crisis. We are confident however that we can operate safely and continue to service our clients.  The team at Ashton Bespoke are keen to move forward and are excited for what the future brings and where we will take the business over the next year.