Ilkley teacher discovers ‘upcycling’ talent

Ilkley Gazette: Sophie with some of her creations Sophie with some of her creations

A teacher has set up her own small business after discovering a talent for refinishing and ‘upcycling’ old furniture.

Sophie Blackwell, 24, a teacher at the independent Moorfield School, Ilkley, tried her hand at rejuvenating secondhand furniture when she moved house and had a limited budget.

Miss Blackwell, who lives in Steeton, visited charity shops and secondhand stores, and transformed the pieces she found by painting and re-covering them.

Her work soon caught the eye of friends and family, and she decided to take orders for her work.

She recently went into business under the name Little Brown Hare.

Miss Blackwell says the trend for bringing old furniture back to life, with a touch of vintage style, has caught on nationwide, following in the footsteps of the likes of Channel 4 programme Kirstie’s Fill Your House for Free.

She said: “The Kirstie Allsop-induced craze has led millions of people to search for ways to upcycle their old furniture rather than throwing it away, thus saving the planet and updating home interiors in one.

“While I am still of course, working full-time as a teacher and loving my job, I have found a passion for painting and re-upholstering furniture. I sell my own pieces as well as taking on commissions, working on evenings and weekends.”

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