The Hastings Sofa Company (THSC), which manufactures white-label sofas and chairs for a growing roster of national and online retail customers, has appointed industry veteran Steve Smedley as its designer, to create, advise and market a new upholstery line for independent retailers.

Steve joins from Michael Tyler Furniture, also based in Hastings, at which he worked for 30 years, latterly as the sofamaker’s MD.

“I’d had a break after leaving Michael Tyler, and was contacted by [THSC MD] Danny Cleaver,” says Steve, speaking exclusively to Furniture News. “I thought it sounded really interesting. Danny acknowledges that his business has been more reactive than proactive – it has evolved, but in many cases they’re doing things in a certain way just because they’ve always been done that way.”

Starting with three or four designs, and enhancing the PoS and marketing materials around the existing lines, Steve’s expertise promises to help cement THSC’s place in the industry.

“Getting Steve on board is a real coup for us,” says THSC’s operations director, Marc Gall, “and it shows we’re invested in our future. He brings best-practice approaches and a real veteran’s eye to what we’re doing.”

After heritage brand Collins & Hayes was acquired in 2017, THSC was founded to make the most of the longstanding manufacturer’s expertise and facilities (see related). The business is managed by Danny Cleaver, Marc Gall and FD Mark Hillyard.

Read all about THSC’s journey in next month’s Furniture News.

Pictured: The Hastings Sofa Company MD Danny Cleaver and new designer Steve Smedley