Traditional ironworker looks to the future

Traditional ironworker looks to the future

A Yorkshire craft business which still uses artisan tools and traditional methods has launched an online shop to meet customer demand.

Nigel Tyas Ironworks still fires and works metal in the same way that it was done thousands of years ago, but now the company is using the modern tools of e-commerce and digital marketing to reach more customers and boost sales.

The company, established in 2000 by husband and wife team Nigel Tyas and Elizabeth Stocker, produces hand-made wrought iron products using traditional methods at its forge in Bullhouse Mill, north of Sheffield.

Nigel Tyas’ chandeliers, light fittings, fireside irons and curtain poles can be found in castles, cathedrals, pubs, hotels, heritage properties and family homes across the UK and abroad.

The company’s handiwork can even be seen on the sets of Emmerdale, in The Woolpack, and on Game of Thrones, in one of the many castles.

Nigel said: “The basic process of creating beautiful and functional wrought iron objects hasn’t changed much in thousands of years.”

The company has established a national reputation for quality and authenticity over the past 15 years and as well as selling direct to property owners, the company has developed relationships with dozens of professional interior designers, architects, conservation and renovation consultants and electrical contractors.

Nigel said: “There are very few people keeping alive traditional ironworking skills in the UK today and we are committed to our tried and tested ways of working and standard of craftsmanship.

“But we are also a forward-looking business and dedicated to new principles such as fuel efficiency, sustainability and using digital technology to enhance our customer service - our new e-commerce website is part of our ongoing modernisation.”

Nigel Tyas has already developed a strong online presence through its website and social media platforms, but its new online shop enables customers for the first time to view and purchase a selection of its products online 247.

Elizabeth, who heads up the customer service side of the business, said: “We pride ourselves on the personal service we give to customers and handle a lot of sales one-to-one, but our online shop obviously extends our offer and is needed to meet growing demand.”

Now employing seven people, the company has grown its customer base and increased trade steadily over the past 15 years, constantly adding new products to its 500-strong catalogue of goods. It gained the prestigious Made in Sheffield mark in 2010 which recognises the quality of its manufactured products and further celebrates Nigel Tyas’ close association with Sheffield metalworking heritage.