CustomMade Exclusive Fitted Furniture, Poole, Dorset :: 01202 737555

Our Story

The story so far.

1987 - Neill James Roberts, desperate to use his creative hands, applied for an apprenticeship at Custom World Bedrooms in Ferndown. Under the guidance of his mentor, and still highly valued friend Mr. John Yard, the Director of Custom World, he flourished to become one of their finest of cabinet makers. At the age of 17 he was trusted to build complete furniture sets for their production line and showed such dedication and skill he was later appointed foreman at the age of 24. Neill continued to learn and excel over the subsequent 10 years within the company and soon felt the pull of the next challenge...

1997 was the year he joined the Sunseeker team of cabinet makers, and with 10 years of experience with Custom World he was well qualified to take on the new challenge and progressed to designing and developing furniture for new Sunseeker Super Yachts. Neills’ skills, eye for detail and innovative approach were soon employed to make bespoke furniture to customers’ unique requirements and tastes and for those who wanted just that little bit extra.

Neill continued to develop his skills as a craftsman and designer, it was inevitable that Neill would have to establish his own business to truly realize his vision, and in 1998 NJR Installations was born. With just a tiny contract of £80 to fit a customers kitchen he left the security of Sunseeker Ltd with a pat on the back and his job back if it didn't work out! Over the next couple of years he designed and fitted many, many kitchens (one of those never finished, still on a promise! from a patient but very grateful Joanne!) and built himself a workshop at his home to make bedroom furniture for his valued customers that were found by recommended word of mouth. He soon outgrew the workshop and home and secured larger workshop premises on an industrial unit, another key milestone in the development of his business.

January 2003 the three year contract was signed for the workshop that we still occupy. Custom Made by NJR was formed with just Neill, designing and building bespoke furniture solutions and Joanne, whom performed the front and back office roles. After eight weeks Neill was so busy he took on his brother-in-law Steve Holton as an apprentice, now our main saw man, to help with the steady flow of work coming in. NJR contributed to the prestigious Sunseeker range with a contract to deliver high quality furniture, now looked after by Gary Baker and Little Dave. The security of the Sunseeker contract provided the platform to establish our vision and expertise in Bespoke Bedroom Furniture, and over the coming year we concentrated on growing this side of our product portfolio.
It may come as a surprise to some of you but in 2004 we added a little side line to the business and started producing Classic VW Camper Interiors (www.busfurniture.co.uk). What started off as an interest of Neill's soon became a successful business in its own right. It became apparent that one of our cabinet makers, Paul Roberts excelled in producing the furniture and we now offer the full product cycle from design to a quality fitting service. We see many smiling faces when the customer returns to pick up their pride and joy installed with our unique, and their beautiful furniture.

We continued to grow both in product range and size and by 2005 we had become what we are now known as 'Custom Made Furniture Ltd’. We had employed a further five cabinet makers and had one full time fitter, David Mullings, now our Production Manager. We had researched and developed new products for our customers wanting more up to date styles and to make their homes more luxurious. Our customers were ecstatic with our products and service and word soon began to spread that there was a furniture company who were reliable, offered that valued (and some would say old fashioned) personal touch, excellent customer service dovetail into all lifestyles and tastes. We have fitted furniture in all types of homes from small maisonettes and family homes, to prestigious homes on Western Road, the Sandbanks Peninsula, Hamworthy, Broadstone and many more.

So here we are now in 2008, and true to the drive of Neill and Joanne and their team we continue to grow. The last two years we have seen many changes. Neill became a father to his first baby, which has provided new drive and inspiration to keep the business moving forward and up. Joanne now works part time which enabled us to employ a full time office administrator, Tracy Jose. (Tracy also has to organise Neill!) and also welcome our customers into our new showroom.

As our business has grown we needed greater controls to ensure the quality of the product was maintained and David Mullings joined us in house to be our full time Production Manager relieving Neill of many day to day production duties and to free him up to see more of our customers and to develop more products. We now have two full time fitters, Sean Power and his eager apprentice Jay Beneditti. And as our business grows so does Neills commitment to give young people the same opportunities he was given, a year ago we employed our second apprentice, Aaron Bailey whom is showing excellent progress and attends college one a day a week as part of his apprenticeship. Just recently we have taken on our third apprentice Craig Molyneaux whom will also be attending college one day a week and with our guidance we hope he excels.

The success of Custom Made, we think, is a story of how with vision, skills and hard work a business can be built that can contribute to the local economy and provide products and a level of service perhaps missing in so much of what we see today. We are really proud of the valued and skilled team that supports us and the efforts made by all to have achieved this success story. We are looking forward to the future vision of Custom Made Furniture and the unique products and level of service we can offer our valued customers. The Custom Made business will provide a legacy for Neill’s son with the hope that he can take over the reigns one day when he's old enough, if he so wishes!!

May we thank you all for your continued support and hope that we can continue to provide the level of service we know that you demand from us.