Each Friday, Furniture News puts five questions to a selected industry professional to explore their background and approach to business. Today, it's the turn of Jodi Schofield, sales director of Burgess Beds ...

How did you enter the trade?
My father Andrew Jackson was the operations director at Slumberland, and my mother worked at Hymen when it was owned by Peter Buckley, so the furniture trade has always been part of my life! When my dad bought Burgess, I was given a great opportunity – to go and work for him.

What has been your career high point?
There have been a few! Seeing our export turnover increase has made all the hard work and effort worth while.   Becoming a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers – and the opportunities it has given me – was great. The people I have met along the way who have become very good friends, having the trust from my dad to become sales director, and of course the recent NBF Manufacturer of the Year award!

What is the most important issue affecting your business right now?
Timber costs. Burgess is FSC-certified but the cost of timber has rocketed and we have to fight to keep those costs down. Also skilled labour, which is why we are looking forward as a company at an apprenticeship scheme.

What company do you most look up to?
There are a few. John Sankey – a few years ago I had the privilege of seeing how their products are made in their factory, and their designs and fabric choices are wonderful. With beds, probably Vi-Spring – they make a lovely product, as do we of course!. In terms of design, B&B Italia has the edge for me.

What do you enjoy most about working in the trade?
I love the industry as a whole. It is innovative and enthusiastic – as are the people I have had the privilege to meet and work with. I don’t think I will ever tire of looking at new trends and lose my enthusiasm for our product.    To see the skill it takes to make a piece of furniture from design to manufacture is, for me, inspiring.

This is an extract from an article published previously in Furniture News magazine. For more stories like this, you can subscribe to receive a regular physical copy of the magazine, or to have a free digital issue delivered to your inbox each month.