Who are Hamilton & Hodson?
Nicky Hamilton set up Hamilton & Hodson in 1994 with Renee Hodson. Renee moved away from Bristol in 2004 and Erica Fredricksson now works alongside Nicky.
“I was a physiotherapist for many years, rejuvenating people, but gradually discovered that I needed something else to inspire me. I tried an upholstery evening class and quickly became hooked! I undertook a two-year, full-time City & Guilds course (completed with Distinction), and this was where I met my first business partner, Renee Hodson. We set up Hamilton & Hodson in 1994 in St Paul’s and two years later we moved to Redland Station (yes, our workshop is actually in the station!). In the intervening years, Renee moved away with her family and I started my own family, but Hamilton & Hodson has remained close to my heart, as it was my first ‘baby’!
In addition to working four days a week at the workshop, I have gone full circle and find myself in an upholstery class again, this time, teaching. These classes are run by Bristol City Council at Stoke Lodge in Stoke Bishop, North Bristol. It was at one of these classes that I met Erica Fredricksson, who joined Hamilton & Hodson in 2014, and has brought with her a fresh burst of enthusiasm.
The oldest piece of furniture that I have upholstered is one that I did at college; a 1710 Queen Anne wing arm chair. The customer, an interior designer, had the fabric woven especially for the chair, and took the design from a 16th century tapestry.The most unusual piece must be a sofa that was made as a prop to feature in a TV advert. It was covered in stretchy fabric that would ordinarily be used to make swimming costumes! Or a 1960s ‘Up’ chair for a child; the customer sourced fabric from Holland as it needed to be stretchy to fit snuggly around the ball with no wrinkles! Come and pay us a visit at our workshop in Redland Station to see for yourself what we do.”
“I had always wanted to try upholstery and, after having my second baby, an evening class once a week suited me down to the ground. As with many other evening class upholsterers, I soon became addicted. After persuading Nicky to take me on as her apprentice in October 2014, I have learned so much from her. She has an immense amount of knowledge about furniture and I am constantly amazed with her skills in restoring pieces that, to the untrained eye, only look fit for the skip or for firewood. In October 2016, we became business partners and continue to restore furniture from our quirky workshop in Redland Station for, I hope, many years to come!”