Today we’re introducing you to a new regular feature: The Side Hustle. In this series, we’ll be having an informal chat to inspiring people pursuing their dreams outside of their normal 9 to 5 job.
To kick things off, our first hustler is one half of mid-century inspired furniture brand Biggs & Quail, Will Biggs.
Hi Will. So tell us, what's your everyday job?
I’m a User Experience / Product Design Lead for Beyond. We’re lucky enough to work with some of the world’s most forward-thinking businesses, including Google and Facebook. We partner with these organisations and their teams to innovate, creating meaningful products and services that solve problems for their customers.
And what's your side hustle?
Together with a good friend and business partner, I run London-based bespoke furniture brand Biggs & Quail. We design and handcraft mid-century inspired furniture, combining the finest hand-selected timbers with traditional joinery techniques to create simple, modern designs — blending form and function.
We’ve been going for a few years now; the idea started when Sean and I got together to make a desk and evolved organically from there. Many of our new products have been the result of collaborations with our customers. Bespoke orders have become bestsellers from our online shop. We love involving our customers in the design process.
Have your day job skills helped you with Biggs & Quail?
I’m fortunate that Beyond are a forward-thinking company and have been incredibly supportive in general. Treating me like a grown-up and being OK with me sending an email here and there, or taking the occasional phone call means the business can run smoothly without me having to take time off just to keep things ticking over.
Working with digital product experts I have learnt a great deal about digital marketing, in particular SEO (search engine optimisation). This has really helped us to grow our site traffic and grow our sales by reaching new customers.
Favourite product or furniture designer?
An oldie but a goodie — a big fan of Hans Wegner’s chairs. Also a huge fan of Dieter Rams who designed a lot of products for Braun — I have one of his watches — I think he was a huge inspiration for Jony Ive at Apple.
Would you ever take the leap and make your hobby a career?
In an ideal world I would continue with my career and also spend more time working on Biggs & Quail, with the flexibility of being able to spend more or less time on each, as and when I pleased. That would be amazing.
If I weren’t me, I’d be
Nonsense poet Edward Lear.
The last boxset I watched was
Freaks & Geeks (<3 Linda Cardellini).
Most played song on my playlist
I’m a big lover of Soundcloud mixes. I’ve been enjoying this mix from my Beyond buddy, Al Dente.
All photos courtesy of Biggs & Quail.