How we work
Hyrst is a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee.
This means that we do not pay shareholder dividends or bonuses.
Instead, any surplus funds we make are put back into the organisation, to support our overriding ambition – to make traceable, fairly priced products from environmentally sustainable materials.
We want to show that making beautiful, bespoke, low-impact goods in the British Isles can be viable as a scalable business.
What do we mean by scalable?
Britain is blessed with expert and original designer-makers. Craftspeople and specialists in small workshops, often working alone to produce beautiful, bespoke furniture and homewares.
They prize traceability and quality. They tread lightly. Just like we do. We love them. We want them to live long and prosper.
We also want this sustainable, ecologically sound mode of production to be accessible to a wide audience.
To be scalable.
We’re working to offer a fairly priced alternative to the manufacturers and retailers who ship materials and products around the world, who use anonymous labour, and make items with a limited lifespan.
That’s what we mean by scalable. Being small in spirit – but thinking big.
We’re achieving this by working with the people and materials we have on our doorstep, in Suffolk – keeping our supply chains short and transparent.
We design everything that we sell, hunched over the drawing board or tinkering at the workbench in Hyrst’s coastal Studio. Radio on.
Our furniture is then made by expert Suffolk craftsmen, and we pay these makers the market rate for their experience and skill.
Our food boards, in British elm and sycamore, are made at HMP Warren Hill in Suffolk, as part of a programme to rehabilitate individuals for reintegration into everyday life. Income paid by Hyrst to Warren Hill is used to fund training qualifications that will reskill residents in preparation for their release.
And we pay ourselves a wage to make all of the above viable; Hyrst has to function as a money-making business.
By operating in this way, as a not-for-profit company, we are working hard to be as competitive as possible.
Add in strong coffee and brisk walks on the beach, and that’s it – that’s how we work.