This month we’re saying farewell to four former students who have been working from incubation space on the Chippendale campus.

Grant Palmer, Dan Brophy, David Bailey and Sandy Redpath graduated in 2016 and, for the past year, have been working from the school.

The Chippendale school is unique in having workshop space that graduating students can move straight into – making that first year in business as easy as possible.

Grant, a former policeman, has set up Dovetail & Rabbet, specialising in handcrafted furniture and bespoke kitchens.

He says that “my quality of life is now much better, and I’m really enjoying what I’m doing.”

That’s echoed by Dan, originally from Dublin, who has set up Black Box Furniture.

But Dan also gives a note of caution, saying that “financially and emotionally, working for yourself is a big investment.”

David Bailey’s business is Bailey’s Fine Furniture.  He has enjoyed working for himself, but advises first-year woodworkers “to be organised about advertising and business development.”

Their shared advice is to set reasonable expectations for the first year, and to recognise that any business takes time to grow.

Grant, David and Dan will be moving into space at Sandy’s new workshop in Edinburgh, providing each other with support and sharing overhead costs.

We’ll catch up shortly with Sandy and his business, Edinburgh Woodwork, in another post.