Peter Rogers took out a loan of £10,000 in 2021 to launch Silverbirch Woodcraft, an online store selling bespoke and restored handmade furniture.
Having worked as a pastry chef for decades, he found himself unemployed at the start of the first lockdown.
He used the opportunity to start restoring furniture from his brother’s garage and, delighted to be using his hands in creative work again, the project snowballed into a fully-fledged furniture business. Coinciding with the pandemic and an increased demand for bespoke furniture as people spent more time at home, Peter has paid himself his first cheque after just six months of operating.
Being launched into unemployment allowed Peter the chance to make a change which he’d been milling over for some time. He knew he was creative, good with his hands and had always wanted to work with wood. He broke himself in with work for family members and then set up a small Etsy shop.