After days of moving every stick of furniture, box, and spoon we have, I finally sat down at our new home in Forest Gate. I was exhausted from doing the work of three men and was trying to make the most of my time on the sofa when there was a knock on the door. A bit confused since we had only been officially moved in for a whole ten minutes, I reluctantly peeled myself off the cushions and went to see who it was. It was our first neighbour welcoming us to the street. Within the next few days we had been introduced to almost the entire block.

What a welcoming experience and sense of community. We knew we were in the right place.

Although my wife and I have only been residing in the neighbourhood for a few months now, we truly enjoy it. I look forward to meeting more members of the community and getting involved. I am originally from rural Pennsylvania, USA. Forest Gate reminds me of my hometown in many ways. There is a steam engine (albeit small and in a pub), a lovely park, and a fair amount of residents who are nosily gossiping as much as possible - I love it.

But how does a man from Small Town, USA end up in Forest Gate? The most obvious answer of course, love. After University I moved to the city of Philadelphia where I met my wife. Her family is from Wanstead. After we were married, we decided our future was here; at first living in Maida Vale, then Islington, and now Forest Gate. We are enjoying our new found space.

My background as a craftsman started young. My siblings and I were always involved in DIY projects growing up. Our father was a renowned automobile restorer and was very meticulous about how things were executed. He taught us how to make things correctly, not quickly. During University I picked up sewing to tailor vintage clothing for myself. I am 6’5’’, so I could never find anything made for a man of my build. From this I went on to make denim jeans for several years while I was in post grad studies for my masters in business. My goal was to always have the freedom of working for myself. The more I was able to learn about business, the better it could help me on this path.

It has been almost 15 years now and I’m still free of chains, and still learning.

As I continued to make jeans and other workwear, I realized that the equipment used for clothing could also be utilized for other means. I diversified… heavily. I started learning upholstery. I sponged up everything I could on leatherwork. I began taking on restaurant commissions for seating, leather components, and anything a client was nice enough to trust me with. Over the years I have slowly honed my skills, producing works for some of the top designers in the US and the UK, as well as many private commissions.

At my workshop here in Forest Gate I still make menswear. I now work with a design partner and friend on a brand called Darte, a vintage inspired menswear brand based on storytelling. I also take on client work for the home. I offer services in all types of soft furnishings and upholstery: from headboards, to custom kitchen nooks, chair recaning, danish cord weaving, leather handrails, bar stool recovering, aprons, french cafe style curtains, restaurant banquettes, audio consoles (a passion of mine), and really anything else you can think of.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any projects that need doing. I can be contacted via email here: If you would like to see some of my work it can be found on my website here:  You may also spot me walking the streets, nibbling some sourdough from my neighbour over at Wild Goose Bakery. Feel free to say hello.

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