Over a decade ago Amanda Oldfield, wife and mother of two sons, ordered two iron beds online for their new home in Norfolk. Little did she know, that the arrival of these poorly made imitations, would give her an idea to start her own company
‘We were in the process of moving from the Midlands,’ says Amanda Oldfield, founder of the Wrought Iron Bed Company,’ back to our roots of Norfolk and whilst my eldest was at University in Portsmouth and my youngest finishing school in Derbyshire, my life was a bustle with online shopping, to furnish our new home.’
Amanda ordered two iron beds from a well known high street store, known recently for a Penguin at Christmas. But the iron beds she received, were poor imitations of the ones she came to know growing up.
Many of us can think back to a time, when we have seen or slept in an iron bed, that the late Angela Lansbury would be jealous off. But these were not of that quality! With a light weight frame and a rattle that was unspeakably intolerable, Amanda sent them back!
With husband Stephen beside her, they sought the skills of a local craftsman, who created two styles (one of which, Sophie, that they still have to this day) and arranged a meeting with the supplier of the beds that had offended her doorstep many months before. Within an hour, the buyer agreed to stock the bed in three stores.
By the time they got home, an email had been sent sating: ‘After consideration of your product and its quality, we have decided to roll your product out nationwide’. In the space of three hours, the family’s life changed. But it was taken away again four years later, when they received another email saying that they could ‘get it cheaper from China’.
Now, however, Amanda and her family have a business to be proud of. Surviving the recession and the economic downturn, their business has grown and so has their order book. Word of mouth is spreading about this family company based in Norfolk.
‘We know we are not the cheapest,’ says Amanda, ‘and we know we don’t have a flagship brand, but what we do have are iron beds made to a high level of quality’.
For wrought iron beds in a variety of beautiful shapes and sizes, see wroughtironandbrassbed.co.uk