Long overdue update

So its a few years now since we’ve blogged. You can’t really call it a blog as a consequence…more of a blurgh!

So it’s time to make amends dear reader and start afresh! Since our last post in November 2014 (I know, I know!) we’ve doubled our floor space, we’ve invested in kit, we’ve taken on more Carrotteers and generally grown up. Well a little at any rate. We’ve formalised things a bit, such as “eggs at 11”. Every day we sit down and have 3 eggs on a slice of toast… at 10.  “You crazy guys!”, I hear you shout.

In that time we’ve done a lot of work with Nando’s. I mean A LOT of work. They are a fantastic company who deserve a blog post all of their own really. It’s really not all about the chicken with these guys. From the construction side which we are heavily involved with, all the way through to corporate (which we are lucky enough to get glimpses of from time to time), they have this amazing ethos. Anyway I digress!

Also during that time we’ve been lucky enough to work alongside a number of award-winning design houses and have been involved with award-winning projects. We’ve without question been challenged, we’ve without question made mistakes which can be stressful and costly but all told its been AMAZING!

Nando's Putney Kitchen - Restaurant & Bar Design Awards Winner

Nando’s Putney Kitchen – Restaurant & Bar Design Awards Winner

I personally love Monday mornings! I can’t wait to get into work. I enjoy every aspect of it even the stress (and I suspect a few more of Team Carrot do too although they won’t admit it!)

So anyway, bring this short but sweet blog post to a close I am bound to solemnly swear that I will not ever ever never ever again leave such a huge gap between posts. I promise. Definitely no fingers crossed. Promise.

Concrete Carrot Work

Expansion!

Its finally happened. At the start of September we take over Unit C4 alongside our existing premises, Unit C3, more than doubling our workspace.

It seems like an age since we took on the first unit back at the beginning of 2013 and for a while it seemed so bare. Now its jammed to the gunnels with all manner of tools, materials, chemicals (all eco-friendly I hasten to add) and of course a pucker sound system.

Now its a logistical puzzle in itself juggling around the various projects we have on the go (ever tried juggling concrete?)

At any one time we may have moulds being built, products being cast, concrete curing, worktops being polished, sealers being applied and “stuff” being readied to ship.

So you can imagine the moment we heard next door was becoming vacant, we thought Christmas had come early (its only another 18 weeks by the way!)

We’re itching to get in now too. We’ve had numerous meetings about how we’re going to organize the space, which tools will go where, can we squeeze in a gym, photography studio and shower!
We’ve drawn lots of pretty drawings of the layout all nicely colour-coded.
Basically we’re behaving like a pair of excited kids in the run up to Christmas (18 weeks people! Apparently concrete gifts are very in vogue this year…)

So the next time you’re passing, local or not, bang on the door and come and have a nose. From the 1st of September you’ll have two doors you can knock!

Spraying concrete into a mould

It’s Been A While!

Wow! How time flies! Our last post was back in April which is a disgrace I know. But in our defence, we have been chokka (excuse the spelling).

We’ve had loads of different projects on, but in between we’ve been checking out new concrete materials and nano-technology sealers, we’ve been testing our design skills, we’ve been building a catalogue of interior products and to top it all off we’ve been put to the grind stone by quite a few designers to come up with samples and solutions to meet their zany ideas! Oh and we’ve been REALLY busy having a beard-growing competition.

The results of our hard graft has made us rather excited to say the least…..

 

We will shortly be opening an online store so that you can purchase our wares, all handmade of course.

So over the next few weeks you will see a lot of activity, definitely lots more product news and without a whiskers doubt an update on the beard competition.

Our concrete console table with wine rack

Did We Say We’d Been Busy?

Just a quick update today really because we’re flat out!

We’ve just completed two of our latest projects. The first is the worktop for our showroom. Its only a small section because we want to pack in lots of other great polished concrete, but we LOVE IT! It incorporates a slot-in chopping board and a sloping draining board.

The second project is the beginnings of our furniture range. Its a console table which doubles as a wine rack. Ideal for the modern contemporary kitchen, hallway, dining room or if you’re that way inclined bedroom. We don’t judge. We’ll be setting up an online shop soon, so watch out for the console table, light shades and plenty more!

Casting a concrete worktop

Living The Dream

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” – how many times have you heard that question?

Ok, so I’m not going to say when I was growing up that I wanted to be in the concrete game. In fact I think when I was growing up the idea of using concrete for anything other than buildings, bridges and paving slabs was furthest from most peoples’ minds.

Both of us at Concrete Carrot started our professional careers in an unorthodox manner. Neither of us could see ourselves as part of the corporate machine. Both of us derived little reward from the 9-to-5 grind working Monday to Friday. Neither of us have ever been happy (for any great length of time at any rate) just earning money. Money comes. Money goes. If you’re lucky it comes back again! Having discussed it at length (concrete takes a LONG time to cure), both of us have realised that making things pushes our buttons, floats our boats etc.

Both our father’s were and still are in construction, so it wasn’t a great leap for either of us to follow suit at a young-ish age. Completely separately at this time of course because we didn’t meet until just a few years ago. So we both spent what seemed like an age at the grindstone working, working, working. What we didn’t know then, as we do now, is that during those years we both learnt so much about construction in general, that now, when we come to fit polished concrete worktops or install a polished concrete wine rack in a bar or make a concrete firepit for a garden deck, we know how to fit, how to install, how much weight a deck can take etc.

If you’re lucky things in life fall into place. That’s how we feel. Not only are we creating things out of concrete (wood, metal and glass too as it happens) but we’ve also inadvertently armed ourselves with the knowledge that we would have had to have learnt very quickly otherwise.

So the next photo of us you look at on this website or the next photo of us you see on TwitterFacebook, Tumblr or Instagram, know that we’re enjoying ourselves and pretty much living the dream (despite what it looks like in the photo!)

From Riot Shields to Polished Concrete Worktops

Yesterday at the Carrot HQ there was a bang at the door. Outside a lorry was parked containing a humongous sheet of clear glass-like material.

To set the story, for a long while now we’ve been searching for a versatile material that we can form our products on, which won’t be destroyed after a couple of uses, something that’s strong, scratch resistant etcetera etcetera.

We contacted many, MANY different companies and manufacturers all over the country and world in fact to find something suitable, but finally as is often the case found the perfect supplier in our own fair city of Cardiff.

We spoke to them at length about our requirements and the bashing the material would take. With no pause for thought the response came back – “riot shields”. The material which best fits our spec is the same stuff the police use to take on rioters and reprobates!

So we are now the proud owners of a giant riot shield. We can form perfectly smooth polished concrete furniture, polished concrete worktops and many more hand-crafted products using our new combative purchase. The question is, will it stand up to a hammering from the boys at Concrete Carrot? Only time will tell.

Concrete Carrot Showroom Refurb

The Carrot Showroom!

Well the first quarter of the year is almost complete. Scary huh!

In the last month we’ve put considerable time and effort into the refurbishment of our office/showroom. Prior to us working our orange magic, the space was a barren, dirty, cold entrance room, which led to the main factory workshop. As such it inevitably became a dumping ground for materials when we first arrived 12 months ago.

In the last month its had more coats of paint than we care to remember, new doors, a re-wire and bright new LED lighting. Next on our agenda is the really exciting bit – a concrete floor!

Okay so it does already have a concrete floor but the type you find in an old garage. We’re going for a smooth shiny polished concrete floor, again hand crafted by our own fair hands.

Once complete we can start filling it with our wares. We’ve already started to put kitchen units in as you can see from  the picture (too eager so we’ll lay the floor around them!) so you can guarantee a range of stunning polished concrete worktops. We’ll definitely be showing off our new range of lighting with our rather special concrete light shades. The finishing touches however are currently top secret. We can offer just one clue – they may be concrete!

The Year Ahead

We’re really excited about 2014.

Last year was a journey of discovery. We spent hour upon hour in our little factory, honing our skills. We’re all about trying to be the best we can possibly be and this has its advantages as well as its drawbacks.

Every success made us jump for joy and every setback, well, set us back! But overall from January 1st to December 31st, we won. And we won big!

We have nailed down all of of products, which for a manufacturer is one of the most important aspects of business. Not only have we nailed them down but we are confident we have the best on the market available to us today.

We’ve forged great links with a number of high quality designers, who we are very excited about working alongside in 2014 and beyond.

And finally the our 2013 clients were more than happy with the work we did for them.

In the first quarter of 2014 we will be ramping up our operation which will mean extremely long hours (which we’re already used to in all honesty) but exciting and productive hours.

We’re also looking for inspiration. We’re pretty good at product design but we always welcome suggestions. So have a think and get in touch!

Happy New Year!

The team at Concrete Carrot would like to wish all our customers old and new, a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2014.

We’re starting off with a bang by launching our new website and launching our new samples range so watch this for further details.

The Carrot Team are Pinning!

As part of our ongoing efforts to connect with the world we’ve fired up a Pinterest account and we’ve been “pinning” like there’s no tomorrow.

There’s loads of interesting and quirky products made from concrete out there. One of our favourites is the iPhone case!

Check our pinboards out at www.pinterest.com/concretecarrot/