Toby Taylor focuses predominantly on Georgian and Victorian furniture.

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1 How did you get your start?

My family has been involved in the antiques trade for years. My gramps, aunt, my uncle, my dad – it’s been a family passion for 100 years or so. When I was 12 years old, I had a stroke and lost movement in my left side.

During and after this, family became even more important to me, and I owe everything to them. Then about three years ago I decided I wanted to get into the business side of things. My idea was to run it largely online (Covid was still quite active) and it was a bit of a surprise for some of the other members of the family, but it’s worked out. I focus predominantly on Georgian and Victorian furniture: chests of drawers, side tables, chairs and home décor.

2 Where did you set up shop?

I have a unit in Blockley in the Cotswolds. My gramps took it on around 50 or 60 years ago. He gave it to my uncle to use

for his restoration business – he now does restoration work for me – and now I run the shop from it. My dad is next door. His main business is pine stripping, making and restoring furniture.

3 Do you have a collection in your house?

My girlfriend and I are looking to buy a place next year so there are a few pieces that I’m setting aside. There’s this 17th century side table that looks like a farmer, who knew a bit about carpentry, knocked together all those years ago. My brother makes lamps, and one of those will go on top of it.

4 What is one thing you could not do without?

My family. Although I own the business, they’ve helped so much: my dad who is my best friend, my mum who is my biggest supporter, my girlfriend Georgia who is always cheering me on, my siblings Edward and Winnie who are always there to lean on, my uncle Simon who is always giving his best in every piece he restores, and my granny and gramps who have been next to me every step of the way and are a huge part of the business. That’s why I’ve called it Taylors Direct rather than Taylor Direct. I do it for them and they do it for me.

5 Real ale or espresso martini?

Real ale – I’m a country boy.