Cohort Q&A: Grain


After the recent launch of their business, new website, and new products, we though it was about time we caught up with Grain, a furniture making duo who are working wonders while on the Cohort programme at Machines Room. Read on to find out more!

Can you tell us a bit about your backgrounds as makers, your practices and areas of interest?
The two of us have very different skill sets, but a shared goal. Robin is very much the maker – he has always had a keen interest in woodwork and was a skilled hobbyist before leaving his job in natural hazard computer modelling to pursue his passion full time. He has worked for a furniture maker using CNC technology, and then for himself- at which time he discussed an idea for a new business concept with me. I am a Graphic Designer and Marketer by trade, and started my first business aged 19. Back then I specialised in design for print and had a small shop in my hometown. Since then I have worked with Construction and Development businesses, developing strategies and marketing, as well as learning how to make websites and photography.

Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on, and what you will be working on, during Cohort?
We’ve used Machines Room since our inception to develop our furniture product range, and test the concept of the ways we plan to sell. During the last year the business has moved on from development towards production phase, and we felt Machines Room was a natural fit to grow the business further. During our time in Cohort we have (just) launched the business to the public, and will continue to develop the existing product line while designing new ranges for the future. We also make and fulfil all of our orders here from our online sales.

Does having access to the machines, expertise and community at Machines Room influence your work and practice, if so then how?
It has – more than we realised. This is the place we were taught how to CNC a piece of furniture from scratch. The community here are fantastic and you can’t help but be inspired by everyone around you. We’ve also taken great joy in sharing our experience and expertise with our fellow Cohort members and the rest of the Machines Room family. We see this place as invaluable to growing our business, I know we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in without it.

What are you finding most challenging?
Time, or the lack of. There is just so many things to do and just not enough hours in the day. Having everything under one roof has made a big difference and has helped us focus our efforts and prioritise our workflow. Now we’ve launched our website and can take orders online it’s more important than ever to have yourself set up correctly – the coffee machine in particular is essential!

What has been the highlight of the experience on Cohort so far?
Our launch party. It felt like it was yesterday, but it took a long time to get to that point. The last push to get the business in a position to be able to launch the website and the product ready was really hard but we got there. It was a big moment for the both of us being able to stand there and have a beer with our friends, family and some of the amazing people we work with.

What is next for you after Cohort? Are you planning to continue this stream of work or start a new project?
We know the next steps for us are operating out of our own space, and moving into new product ranges. We want to keep growing the business and developing so we can’t wait to be able to put all of our plans and goals for the future into action. The people we’ve met here are as much apart of our start in life as they will be our future – we can’t wait to see everyone grow together.