Meet Fernanda, Creator & Founder, Fernanda Nunez Design
Updated: Sep 2, 2020
Company and Role:
Creator & Founder, Fernanda Nunez Design
Furniture making & carpentry
Tell us about your business, and what makes it special to you?
I design and make furniture and wooden objects that are different and unique. Focusing on traditional craftsmanship yet combining modern methods for striking visual effects. Each piece has a story to tell and is made to last generations.
Tell us about the defining moment that propelled you to start your business, or follow your dreams.
I grew up in a household where quality was valued. My first memories are those of my dad’s metal workshop where everything was 100% handmade to the tiniest detail. In my teens I joined my hometown’s youth orchestra and studied cello for many years. I believe the classical training cultivated traits of patience and perfectionism, rather useful as a cabinet maker. I subsequently moved to London in my twenties. From Maldonado, a seaside town of 105.000 inhabitants to a city of 8.9 million, it was exciting and daunting at the same time. In London I gained a Bachelor's degree in International Relations at the University of Westminster, worked as a barista and completed a coffee roasting course.
Five years ago my husband Tom and I decided to move to the Lake District to change our lives. He set up Red Bank Coffee Roasters and I was looking to convert an old horse box into a mobile coffee shop. I wanted to learn how to cut wood and use a drill to do the job so I enrolled at school for a week. I researched all the schools in the UK and realised that there was an award winning fine furniture workshop and school only 30 minutes from my doorstep! Little did I know it would change my life.
What problem is your business solving? Why is this personal to you?
Well, I see a fundamental problem. Whereas furniture making was once primarily dictated by style, today function is becoming increasingly important. Technology changes, we move much more and there’s so much built-in furniture now that in most cases furniture is no longer a lifetime purchase.
However, I believe we are witnessing the awakening of a counter-movement, a renewed enthusiasm for well-crafted objects. My desire is to create a good environment in which to live and work while keeping the traditional crafts alive, introducing fresh ideas.
Tell us how you stay inspired as an entrepreneur.
I live in a beautiful place surrounded by nature and mountains where I can walk, and walking is how inspiration and ideas bloom.
Tell us about a defining career milestone or job that impacted your personal trajectory.
Last year I won The Furniture Maker’s Company Design Award at Celebration of Craftsmanship 2019 with my Guilloche bedside tables. I was featured in Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine and made it to the cover of The Woodworker magazine. That personal project which I completed only after my first year at school has been a defining career milestone for me.
Tell us about a woman who inspired you.
My mum. From her I learned that I could do anything I set my mind to. She has been my muse and her essence is there in each one of my pieces.
Do you feel you've mastered work/life balance? What could be improved or what would you like to work on?
I am slowly finding that balance. I have just found a workshop in the beautiful English countryside where I live and create and I am working on some exciting commissions right now.
How do you release and unwind?
I like dancing tango, playing cello, listening to music, walking the mountains and surfing.
What's the next big step for your business?
The next big step I am working on is creating a range of furniture.
Is there a quote/mantra that guides you?
"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -Albert Einstein
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