Ches & Co.

We’ve been discussing all things upcycling and interior design with Francesca, the face behind the brand Ches & Co. We were lucky enough to have both her and Matt join us at our latest Christmas Fair in Harrogate and now we’re delving deeper into their start up story and discovering how they ended up exhibiting with us at the Country Living Fair. 


Company Overview

We are an interior design studio creating personal spaces for our clients. We use recycled and reclaimed pieces where we can and create our own collections of upcycled furniture and homeware using recycled materials.

How did it all start?

It started in 2020 when I was on furlough. I’ve always loved interiors, have sewn since I was 16 and have filled my home with second-hand and upcycled furniture and homeware which I love doing. Furlough gave me the opportunity to get back in touch with my creative side, so I gave myself the project of turning what I love into a business.

The story behind the name…

My family have always called me Ches and they have been so supportive of this new pathway that it felt like a great opportunity to use their nickname for me as the connection to my designs. The ‘Co’ is all of the people it takes to make this business and our projects successful (including Matt!!)

Where are you based?

We are based in Buckingham. We have recently moved into a new studio which used to be a milking shed on a really beautiful farm! We’re surrounded by some other great businesses and love the community spirit of the place. We’re hoping to put together a calendar of events for the year so that we can share our space with anyone who would love to visit us!


What inspires you?

Nature for sure. I love muted, earthy colours and shapes – I’m also a sucker for florals!! But I’m also inspired by the beautiful fabrics, homewares, textures, patterns and furniture pieces that we have already existing around us. Often a project or collection will begin by looking at what we have and drawing out from there.

What is your creation process?  

I love creating new homeware collections because I can work with all the fabrics, colours and patterns that I love! As I use recycled materials, I start by sourcing a few fabrics that I love which starts to build a picture of how the collection will feel. I then create a moodboard using the fabrics together, research current products and trends in the market then work out what else needs to be brought in to complete the collection. I create one of each product so that I can work with my very talented photographer, Stephanie O’Callaghan, to share the collection online. I then make a small amount of each product to avoid any waste and ensure that I can accommodate any customisation such as changes in size etc. Every collection is limited due to the amount of each fabric that I am able to source.

What makes you, your brand or products unique?

That we combine recycled products and interior design to create unique and personal spaces that reflect the owner. Whether a client would just like one accessory or a full home renovation, we are on-hand to help!

What is your next project?

My next project is creating our Spring/Summer collection! I love the process from developing the concept all the way through to sourcing the perfect recycled fabrics and creating new, unique pieces.

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

Our plans for 2023 are to build on the foundations we lay in place last year. We now have our own studio, are both focused full-time on the business and have started to plan and create our new collection of furniture and homeware. We’re looking forward to working with new clients on their interior design projects and furniture commissions – plus meeting lots of new people at events throughout the year. We’re ready to share what we do and get creative!

What is your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement last year was absolutely winning Best Dressed Stand at Country Living Fair in Harrogate.

Stephanie O'Callaghan- Ches & Co

What is your best-selling product?  

From our homeware collection, our cushions have been popular because they are all unique. I work with recycled fabric including curtains and remnants or deadstock fabric to create pieces that wouldn’t otherwise be made. I love that what I do prevents unwanted textiles from going into landfill and creates pieces that people love again. I also make cushions to order so clients like the flexibility of different sizes or fabrics to suit their home perfectly.

Your experience of your first Country Living Fair?

I loved getting into the spirit of Christmas at the Fair this year. It was so great to be surrounded by so many other talented makers and see their latest pieces. It was also such a great opportunity to get to know customers face to face and chat about what we do and hear about their interiors projects first hand.

What do you love about Country Living Fairs?

I love being surrounded by creative people that make unique pieces and meeting customers that share our interests, too! It was really great to see so many eco-friendly brands at last year’s show – I can’t wait to see what people bring this year.

Your three top tips for crafters and makers…

Start the project you’ve been putting off, it’ll be so worth it.

Buy the crafty bits you’ve been thinking about – and enjoy using them!

Gift your makes to friends and family, they’ll appreciate them more than you think.

Any advice for fledgling businesses…  

Just keep doing what you love. Enjoy the creative process and get on top of the ‘boring bits’ so they don’t hold you back!


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Important Announcement

We are delighted to announce that the management of the Country Living Christmas Fair is transitioning back to Hearst UK, owners of the Country Living Brand. For 2024, Country Living are partnering with iconic sister brand, Good Housekeeping, to bring a fabulous new and enriched festive experience to the London Christmas Fair. Good Housekeeping is the UK’s biggest lifestyle magazine brand for women and in 2022 launched its own, annual Christmas weekend festival, Good Housekeeping Live.

Good Housekeeping Live with the Country Living Christmas Market will take place at the Business Design Centre from 13th – 16th November 2024.

The Glasgow and Harrogate Country Living Fairs will be paused for 2024.

For more information on Country Living Events for 2024, please contact Ellie Craig, Artisan Growth Manager at [email protected]