Ellis & Co Case Study: Silverlining

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Mark Boddington has always aimed high.

When he first set up his business in 1985, aged just 21, he was intent on becoming one of Britain’s leading furniture makers.

More than 30 years later, Mark has certainly realised his ambition.

Silverlining’s innovative and award-winning furniture can be found in palaces, museums, galleries and corporate headquarters around the world.

The company, which started life in a disused Cheshire cow barn, and is now based in Wrexham, provides furniture for the yachts of the rich and famous. There is also a developing partnership with the McLaren F1 team.

The Silverlining name came about because of Mark’s early use of inlaid silver in his furniture pieces.

Mark could have opted for a life working in the family business – Boddington’s brewery – but his love of wood and passion for good craftsmanship took him in an alternative direction.

Silverlining’s craftsmen have all learned their skills under talented masters and in the company’s workshops they continue to push boundaries and define the future of craftsmanship.

Clients are able to order bespoke creations to their exact specification or they can explore the Collector range of ground-breaking pieces. Alternatively, customers can choose an item from the Editions range – limited edition furniture that is ready to order.

The Silverlining team are also always on the lookout for unusual materials with which to craft their pieces. Examples include a 227-year-old reindeer hide salvaged from The Metta Catharina that sank off Plymouth in 1776 and a 418-year-old brown burr oak from historic Holker Hall in Cumbria.

Mark says: “We look for the unusual and quite often find the incredible.

“Our workshops enable us to keep our skills in-house. In many ways, our clients only truly understand the depth of our passion when they visit us and meet the craftsman who is bringing their vision to life.”

For more than half of Mark’s business life, he has been able to depend upon the support of Chester and Wrexham based chartered accountants Ellis & Co, led by Principal Robert Ellis.

Mark says: “Ellis & Co are a well-established accountancy practice who add value to any SME.

“The team have huge experience and have given us invaluable guidance over the years.

“I recently found out about an area of expertise they have which I never thought I would need when the practice assisted us in quantifying a successful insurance claim following a serious fire at our factory. 

“This was a particularly stressful time but Robert and his team were always on hand and ensured our business came out stronger at the other end.

“Robert is also particularly helpful regarding banking arrangements as he has wide ranging contacts with commercial banks in the North West.”

Mark adds: “The other reason I have used Ellis & Co for over 15 years is that the core team is still the same and always work in a professional and friendly manner. They don't spend any more time at meetings than necessary, which means they are looking after their clients’ pockets not theirs!”