how hard can it be?
Our founder, Bruce Saunders started making small pieces of furniture at home in London in 2016, but was surprised to find it almost impossible to buy English grown hardwood in the city.
A little Google research revealed that over 90% of hardwood sold in the UK was - and still is - imported from all over the world.
Spotting a London Plane tree being felled near to his home in Camden, he wondered "could I turn it into timber?" It was due to be chopped up and burned, and the tree surgeon was happy for him to take it.
Hiring a mobile sawmill, he had soon built up a stack of sawn boards in the corner of an accommodating garden centre. A year later, the timber was air dried and ready for use.
He'd not counted on the reaction of his furniture maker friends - they were eager to use the wood in their own projects. Not only did it look superb, it had history and provenance to die for.
Picture below - milling London Plane
An obsession begins
Bruce discovered there was no shortage of trees being felled in the capital, and almost all of them were being destroyed. Holding down work elsewhere he started to salvage more trees, often struggling to find places to dry all the boards.
Working closely with his wife, Antje Saunders - an architect - Bruce began to develop the business, making valuable contacts with tree officers in the borough councils and the city's tree surgeons, many of whom were happy to see the couple saving trees from the fire.
In 2018, they took on space at Blackhorse Workshop in Walthamstow, London E17 (below), where the business could display wood for sale, and use the professional equipment to machine timber and make furniture pieces to order.
Picture below - Blackhorse Workshop
getting the band back together
In 2020, Bruce persuaded his lifelong friend Patrick to partner up and help build the business. As teenagers they had formed a band... but that was a long time ago. Patrick now had plenty of experience in marketing, PR and business management and - finding himself furloughed during Covid - was ready for a new challenge.
Since then, the pair have set about developing the business with Antje remaining closely involved as a board advisor. In 2021, they took on further milling and timber production space in Bulphan, Essex, whilst retaining their London shop at Blackhorse Workshop.
Also that year, they decided to change the company's name from its original Saunders Seasonings to Fallen & Felled to better reflect the company's association with discarded trees.
Picture below - Patrick (left), Bruce (centre) in 'The Barnstormers'