Mark Boddington is the founder and chairman of Silverlining Furniture – one of furniture making’s leading names recognised for its progressive design ethos and focus on combining time-honoured craftsmanship techniques with the latest technologies.
Boddington is also the great-great-grandson of the famous founder of Boddingtons English Beer – Henry Boddington, but it’s his love for furniture-making that’s guided his career choices.
Boddington quotes his mother as one of his mentors – she had a natural flair for the arts and crafts, which also ran in the family through generations. Her grandfather, George Rae, was well-known for his patronage of the Pre- Raphaelite Brotherhood and his commissioning and acquisition of works, including Rosetti’s The Beloved, commissioned in 1863 for £300.
It was Boddington’s mother who, when he decided against a career in brewery management, encouraged him to follow his heart as the craftsperson. It led Boddington to undertake training with the celebrated furniture-maker, John Makepeace and under his mentorship, tirelessly hone his skills.
A successful graduate show at which Boddington took £38,000 worth of orders, enabled him to set up his first workshop at the age of 21.
Boddington quotes two lucky breaks that helped him in the early stages of his career. His first workshop was on the Grosvenor Estate in Cheshire, home to the Duchess and the late Duke of Westminster, where he met the couple’s interior designer John Stefanidis. The relationship resulted in a steady flow of commissions from Eaton Hall and international aristocratic families.
The second lucky break came in 1993 onboard a plane from Miami to LA when Boddington encountered Kevin Costner’s architect. This relationship led to a stream of commissions from Hollywood from clients such as David Bowie, Madonna, and Tom Ford.
Now that Silverlining has a 62-strong team and loyal clientele across the globe, Boddington has turned his passion to developing the company and investing in his team. He also has on his mind the legacy he’ll leave behind. He envisions growing the business to feature a furniture-making academy and a new workshop facility. His other dream is to have an on-site restaurant, a nod to his mother’s passion for cooking and his love for growing organic produce, especially rare vegetables.
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