Amanda Waring, Master of the Furniture Makers’ Company, with some of the winners of the Furniture Makers’ Company’s ‘60 for 60’ in London: (L-R) William Purves, Louisa Gao, Thomas O’Neill, Amanda Waring, Emilia Marekwica, Henry Gardner, Paulo De Vasconcelos

London’s vibrant furniture and furnishings industry has been recognised in a prestigious national awards scheme celebrating the achievements of 60 of the sector’s most talented upcoming stars, with eight of the UK awards’ young winners working in the city.

Launched as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry, the ‘60 for 60’ campaign recognises 60 of the most accomplished and promising young people in the sector. From product designers, cabinetmakers and technical developers to logistics professionals, commercial managers and operations directors, the awards showcase the diverse range of career opportunities on offer within the industry.

The London winners, employed at furniture and furnishings firms across the city were: Emilia Marekwica, head of purchasing and sourcing at Ocee & Four Design; Henry Gardner, director at Edmund & Co; Huw Evans, product developer at The Conran Shop; John Gulian, founder-maker at John Gulian Design; Paulo De Vasconcelos, fine woodwork tutor at The Building Crafts College; Thomas O’Neill, senior projects and design engineer at Race Furniture; William Purves, director at David Lawrence; and Louisa Gao, UK financial controller at Tempur UK.

Over the last nine years, Emilia Marekwica has risen from administrator to purchasing manager, demonstrating outstanding leadership and communication skills. She spearheaded a project at Ocee & Four Design to revamp a high-cost meeting table system by sourcing new components from an overseas supplier, ensuring a seamless transition while making cost savings without compromising quality and service.


Emilia said: “To be honoured in this way is incredibly special to me and in part for all my colleagues and mentors at Ocee & Four Design who without I’m sure I would not be receiving this amazing reward and hopefully many more will follow as I strive to achieve my future goals within the furniture manufacturing industry.”

Expert judges from within the industry reviewed the submissions and selected the winners who were announced at a special ‘60 for 60’ awards ceremony held in the City of London on 5 December. Amanda Waring, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “We received hundreds of entries for ’60 for 60’, ranging from wood working to carpet and textile design, showing not only the vibrancy and diversity of British talent, but also that the industry continues to offer exciting and rewarding career opportunities.

“We congratulate every one of our 60 outstanding winners and look forward to sharing our members’ mentoring skills and providing networking opportunities as they continue to develop their professional careers.

“While we have a long history of supporting the UK’s flourishing and world-renowned furniture and furnishings industry, and are celebrating 60 years since we were awarded livery status, we are very much a modern organisation and it is vital that we use our position to reward and recognise emerging talent in the sector.”