“A while ago, we had some customers who flew directly from London to Billund Airport in Denmark, where they rented a car and drove the almost two-hour drive to our workshop. They took the trip to order two tables that were to be delivered 18 months later in Marseille in Southern France,” says Carsten Thor.
Far from the beaten track, in a little town called Timring, Denmark, lies Thors-Design. This is an award-winning manufacturer and workshop that produces furniture from upcycled azobé wood sourced from decommissioned ferry landings and wharves. Carsten Thor is the founder and primary designer of the company’s products, and nothing is mass-produced. Every piece is created uniquely by hand, bespoke solutions custom-made to the client’s specific needs, and with a goal of retaining the history and natural character of the wood.
“I believe that if you have a good product, it doesn’t matter that much where you are situated – people will come to you, if the product is good enough,” says Carsten Thor.
And something indicates that Thor is right. In the autumn of 2016, when they participated in the Conscious Hospitality Show in London, Thors-Design won an award for Best New Idea. The award was won for the company’s concept of upcycling. In addition, eager clients are visiting the workshop in Timring, although the company doesn’t have as many visitors as if they were placed in the middle of a town or city.
“When customers visit, they are more interested in our products compared to visitors coming from a high street, I believe. Part of the reason why is that they’ve usually taken a longer trip to get here. We have even had people driving all the way from Switzerland to visit us. And it’s not that often we have visiting customers who don’t order one of our pieces,” says Carsten Thor.
Thor thinks that’s a result of the company being visible and having a genuine and unique story to tell about its products. Recently, and as a development of the almost entirely wooden product range, Thors-Design wanted to expand the collection of bespoke furniture to also include another material to compliment and contribute to the solid furniture pieces.
“We saw an increasing demand for tables with a lighter expression, so we came up with the glass table that could meet this demand. The tables are still heavy, but now the wooden azobé pillars from the ferry landings come into their own in a much more natural way, because they are exposed through the glass,” says Carsten Thor.
With a table top that consists of 19 mm hardened glass with dimensions of 1 x 3 metres, the table is quite heavy. The massive wooden table legs with metal fittings give the table part of its rustic look. The table is now part of Thors-Design’s range of azobé wood products.
“25 per cent of our sales revenue is generated from sales to foreign countries, and, in the future, we’re looking forward to attracting even more people to Timring, to experience the story and products first-hand,” concludes Carsten Thor.