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Leeds craftsman who lost all his work in lockdown employs seven in booming new business

With Leeds Live

Jack Tosney has been nominated for two awards in the Yorkshire Choice Awards (Image: Anthony Robling)

Jack Tosney started his business in May 2020 after all his work dried up.

A craftsman from Leeds whose business grew after his mum shared a picture of a kids' bench he made has been nominated for two awards.

Jack Tosney, of Alwoodley, lost all his work when the UK was plunged into a lockdown but a simple post by his mum saw him launch a bespoke furniture business.

The 23-year-old worked as a theatre set builder and had even worked on the set for the hit film franchise Marvel.

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His work dried up as the world went into the pandemic and he was left with no way to make living.

However, two years later, he now has his own business and has been nominated in both the New Starter Business of the Year and Business Man of the Year categories in the Yorkshire Choice Awards.

Speaking to LeedsLive, he said: “It started almost two years ago when in the first lockdown I made a kids bench for my mum. She posted it on Facebook and it’s grown from there.

“One thing that surprised me was the speed it progressed. I've gone from a bench and no £0, I didn’t have money and basically having a business really.

“It’s been challenging, stressful, fun, exciting, everything you would imagine. I do everything, especially in the early days.”

Jack used to deliver the furniture himself in a van to customers, but these days he sometimes has as many as seven staff working at the business.

He believes in meeting customers face-to-face as he makes the delivery is part of the reason the business has been popular.

Jack was nominated by the public for the awards which he says is an “honour.”

He continued: “I’ve been humbled and surprised, there’s about eight other people nominated for (Business Man of the Year).

“People have gone out of their way to nominate me, and it's an honour."

Jack landed his first job in scenic construction when he was 18-years-old and he quickly worked his way up.

He was offered a full-time position and the opportunity to learn the trade and after 18 months, he felt ready to branch out on his own and go freelance.

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