19th Jul 2019

Cousins Bespoke: Meet the Maker

Founded in 2014, Cousins Bespoke has taken the made-to-measure furniture market by storm. What started as an opportune meeting with Managing Director, John Shotton has now flourished into an incredible partnership between Cousins and Shaun Hands that’s gone from strength to strength. After initially snapping up the three models Shaun had expertly created, today there are fifteen collections on display in each of the three flagship stores, with many more in the pipeline. It’s been five years since the start of an incredible partnership but one aspect still stands true; Shaun’s sheer skill, passion and dedication.

Some would say Shaun was born for the job as he’s always been creative, choosing to help his Uncle who was a re-upholsterer over playing in the park with friends. Whilst he enjoyed his first job as an upholsterer at 18, Shaun was left wanting more control of the design which lead him on the path to becoming a Development Upholsterer, a role he still holds today. “Every day is different and I enjoy problem solving to help improve people’s quality of life…whatever their seating dilemma it can be overcome”. Working on one sofa at a time, everything is hand-made with no production line or laser cutting in sight. Instead Shaun likes to think on his feet, building prototypes and using chalk on hand-cut templates.

Shaun had originally been in a business partnership for 25 years but with his wife Linda’s backing, started his own bespoke business where he currently employs two sewers and two upholsterers. Whilst he admits it has been hard work, the success of Cousins Bespoke has seen them outgrow their current workshop and on the hunt for larger premises. Although he’s had commercial projects in restaurants and hotels, he describes Cousins Bespoke as the perfect partnership where he can respond to customer’s needs and current trends without compromise.

Whilst the biggest request of bespoke is for exact made-to-measure dimensions, customers can use their own fabric or have furniture re-upholstered, which Shaun says adds a sentimental aspect to the service he provides. Customer satisfaction is his favourite part of the job as he enjoys helping people make their dream a reality and is always thrilled when they recommend him to others. The largest request he’s had was a family who wanted two six seater bespoke sofas and a footstool which was big enough to sleep on. He’s also created a corner group for a Miner’s cottage which required very small and specific dimensions. The customer was so happy with the outcome they put an advert for Shaun’s services in their local newsagents, where three other people made the same order.

He says his most memorable order was for a Jessica Sofa where the customer wanted to re-upholster her late husband’s favourite chair to match. “I delivered this personally and the customer was incredibly tearful but thankful I was able to achieve just what she wanted”. It’s testament to Shaun’s skill, commitment and the quality in his craft that the next week the customer’s sister came in to buy from the Bespoke collection too.

It’s no surprise that the popularity of Cousin’s Bespoke has meant Shaun is now our largest and most popular upholstery supplier. With its success has come a plan to enhance the in-store experience using a leading design company to create a Cousins Bespoke studio for each store. John says: “As a family business we align with the bespoke aspect perfectly, everything is made locally and to the highest quality. It’s personal and good old-fashioned customer service that people like and appreciate”.



“If you’ve got a seating dilemma, we have the solution”


Cousins Bespoke is a quality personal service provided by our own workshops, where everything is hand made in the West Midlands for you. If you have a seating dilemma, Cousins Bespoke service will help you design your own sofa, corner group of chair, to your personal style, measurements and comfort preferences.

Visit our website to order our standard Cousins Bespoke ranges or see us in one of our Furniture Stores Near You for further details on how to easily customise your dream sofa or chair.

Follow our instagram
What our customers say