New enterprise carves funds into community

Mike Dunn, at the showroom for his bespoke furniture business, Make Me One Too, at Betton Farm, East Ayton. He uses old, aged wood, to make the pieces of unique furniture.  Picture by Andrew Higgins   sn122744a   05/07/12
Mike Dunn, at the showroom for his bespoke furniture business, Make Me One Too, at Betton Farm, East Ayton. He uses old, aged wood, to make the pieces of unique furniture. Picture by Andrew Higgins sn122744a 05/07/12

A student has shown his entrepreneurial spirit after setting up a custom-build furniture business, while supporting Scarborough charities.

Mike Dunn, 28, started ‘Make Me One Too’ after finding it hard to get good quality, quirky furniture without a premium price tag.

He initially started making pieces for family, before the business idea sprialled out of friends asking if he could ‘make me one too’.

The furniture is crafted from reclaimed and waste materials, such as excess from building supply merchants and broken furniture items.

Mr Dunn said: “My partner and I were looking at buying new furniture but found that we couldn’t necessarily afford what we wanted. My dad had trained as a cabinet maker and joiner, and I had been making bits and pieces for years, so thought that I would have a go at making the furniture that we wanted.”

Setting up a business while studying full-time, working as a musician in the evenings and being a parent of a one-year old would be daunting for anyone, but Mr Dunn says he is determined to make the business a success. He said: “I know that if you want something to be a success, you have to work hard and do it yourself. I want to provide security for myself and my family, and hopefully to other people when we expand.

“Although the business is small, we hope that within two years to create another five jobs.”

Mr Dunn’s business model has been designed to break even, and the aim is to donate 15 per cent of the crevenue to local social enterprises and charities.

Mr Dunn said: “We have an outlet at Betton Farm, which is run by Basics Plus, a registered charity and social enterprise which provides employment for people with learning difficulties. We work alongside their furniture shop SOFA, taking their broken items and turning them into beautiful new pieces. In return, we make sure that on sale, the charity receives double what they would have priced it for in the shop.”

‘It is our aim to give something back to the local community.”