All Posts

Q&A with Kim, Estimator

This week at Craftwood we’re learning more about the role of Kim, our Senior Estimator. Kim prepares quotations for our bespoke seating projects by analysing our clients’ imaginative drawings and liaising with suppliers to source the wide range of materials we manufacture.


1. How long have you been working at Craftwood?

18 months

2. Please describe your day-to-day role at Craftwood:

My main role is to prepare quotations for our clients. This usually involves analysing drawings/talking to clients to determine their needs and preparing a price based on this information. A lot of my role involves communication with the client and with our suppliers. I also do a lot of follow up work, ensuring continuity and building relationships with our clients.

3. Please list any qualifications that you have:

I have 11 GCSEs A-C and various vocational diplomas from my previous life in retail management.

4. What you like most about working at Craftwood?

We really are a tight knit team and we all take great care and pride in our work.

5. When you are not at Craftwood, what are your interests or hobbies?

I am currently studying for my degree part time. I also love keeping fit and get to the gym as often as possible. I also swim regularly and have recently taken up yoga. Being a vegan, I love experimenting with new vegan recipes.

6. Do you have favourite installed seating you have estimated or perhaps several that stand out?:

Project 1: Mondrian Sofas

I love the vibrant colour and the deep luxurious backs to these sofas.

Sea Containers at Mondrian London

Sea Containers at Mondrian London

Project 2: Nando’s Richmond

The Riempie work was something we at Craftwood had not worked with for so it was interesting to discover this new design element.

Nandos Richmond 14-1160 ID5

Nando’s, Richmond

Project 3: Residential Maidenhead 

We recently completed a domestic project for a couple in Maidenhead. It is always a thrill to assist with a residential project as the client is always enthusiastic and they look to us for guidance and advice.

Residential Maidenhead 15-1203

Residential Project, Maidenhead

7a. Have you dined at a restaurant where you saw the seating project installed that you estimated? If yes, where and when?

I have seen our seating in various locations but I have loved seeing our work close to home at Jamie’s Italian in Norwich and GBK in Norwich.

MBDS Jamies Norwich 8390ID 36

Jamie’s Italian, Norwich

Gold deep button back curve bench seating for GBK Norwich by Craftwood!

Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Norwich

7b. If yes, how did you feel when seeing the end product being used?

I love seeing the finish article, especially when you see it at its initial stages of sometimes just a sketch on a piece of paper. I always feel immensely proud of the Craftwood team when you see a finished piece.

8. Do you have a favourite Craftwood seating style? If so, why?

Being a lover of all things vintage, I love Chesterfield sofas. They are always real statement piece. I especially love when this classic design is teamed with a bright, modern fabric or leather, like at Ormer by Shaun Rankin or Jamie’s Cambridge.

Jamies Cambridge 6967 ID 60

Chesterfield Sofa at Jamie’s Italian, Cambridge

Craftwood Ormer, deep button Chesterfield style

Craftwood Ormer, deep button Chesterfield style

9. What is the most satisfying factor of your role?

I really enjoy speaking to our customers to determine what they are looking for and to prepare the most accurate quotation possible for them.

10. What is the most challenging factor when quoting for bespoke seating?

The fact that everything is bespoke. There is no such things as a “standard” piece of Craftwood seating so a lot of attention to detail is needed in order to determine sometimes quite discreet design details or construction requirements.

11. Do certain venue spaces require particular consideration when estimating?

Every venue has its own individual obstacles, whether it be access to the building itself, specific requirements for the seating besides its initial usage i.e. storage solutions or legal requirements such as specific fire regulations that must be adhered to.

12. Do certain seating materials require particular consideration when estimating?

Not all fabrics are suitable for contract use. All of the fabrics we use at Craftwood must meet Crib 5 requirements and should be at least 40,000 Martindale rubs to ensure longevity of the upholstery for our client.

13. Do you have a particularly memorable project or site visit?

I am really looking forward to seeing the Picturehouse Central when it is completed as there were quite a few design changes along the way making it a challenge to estimate. However, the finished product will be stunning.

14. What do you believe are the key skills that are required to complete each project estimate?

Attention to detail, accuracy, knowledge of the product, good communication with the client.

15. What are you studying at University?

BA (Hons) Humanities

16. What is your favourite aspect of your course?

I love the variety, the course covers everything from art, history, philosophy and literature.

17. How do the skills developed on your course help you with your work at Craftwood?

Developing skills such as paying close attention to detail has helped immensely with my work. Within my degree I am closely analysing a piece of art or literature, these are skills I can translate to assessing a technical drawing.

18. How do the skills developed at Craftwood help you with your studies?

Working as part of the Craftwood team, split between our Norfolk Sales Office where I am based and our production HQ in Dorset, distance communication is vital. As my degree is distance learning through the Open University, good communication skills are invaluable.


See Craftwood’s seating types.

Previously, we went behind the scenes with our talented design team.

We’ll be posting a new team feature soon. Stay up to date with Craftwood’s features through our on Facebook and Twitter.