Diss-Coverings hopes to ‘fly the flag’ for Norfolk artists and designers

Mary Gibson and Rachel Roullier are opening Diss-Coverings, a new furniture upholstery service and teaching school, in Diss. ANL-151118-162431009

Mary Gibson and Rachel Roullier are opening Diss-Coverings, a new furniture upholstery service and teaching school, in Diss. ANL-151118-162431009

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A new furniture upholstery business opening in Diss next week believes its affiliation with a local auction house and a selection of Norfolk designers will help it stand out from similar businesses in the area.

Diss-Coverings, located above Katie’s Kitchen in Hales Yard, will officially launch its service on Thursday, offering upholstery courses, re-upholstery commissions and designer fabrics.

The business is a joint venture between Mary Gibson, a long-time collaborator with the St Nicholas Street-based art shop Designermakers@21, and Rachel Roullier, an experienced events planner and marketer from London.

Ms Roullier, who now lives in Eye, told the Diss Express: “There are plenty of upholsterers in the area, but our USP is we are affiliating ourselves with Norfolk designers.

“We want to fly the flag for local fabric designers.”

The pair joined forces after meeting at a furniture upholstering refresher course last year, after which they determined their combination of skills would be “a good foundation to set a business up.”

Ms Roullier stated they were looking to team up with the TW Gaze salerooms, after garnering support from auction rooms director Elizabeth Talbot, and she was hopeful of staging upholstery workshops at the Roydon Road facility during future sales.

“We want to establish our school. They (TW Gaze) have a good following all over the country,” she said.

“We really want to give people a look behind the scenes. It doesn’t just have to be us, but it can be the whole community. They have the talent on their doorstep.”

The business is also aiming to align itself exclusively with local artists, like Annette Rolston, another contributor to Designermakers@21, who has produced for them a range of hand-printed silks to fit onto specific pieces of furniture.

Although they are eager to court customers who are into antiques, Ms Roullier added they also hoped to attract interest from another demographic which simply wanted to salvage furniture that would otherwise be destined for the skip.

“It’s amazing what people throw away. It’s unbelievable,” she said.

“There’s a throwaway culture everywhere, not just with furniture. I’m a firm believer that if it’s not too expensive, let’s recover it and give it a new lease of life.”

To learn more about Diss-Coverings, please call 01379 644901 or visit their website at www.dissupholstery.co.uk