Meet the Maker: Donald Williams


Arlo & Jacob Frame Maker Donald Williams


Meet Donald Williams, our expert frame maker who has been working at the Long Eaton factory for over 26 years. His skills and expertise give each Arlo & Jacob sofa its sturdy backbone and structural quality, ensuring they are truly sofas for life. He talks with us about his time at Arlo & Jacob, the craftsmanship needed for the job and his favourite sofa styles and designs.


How long have you worked at the Long Eaton factory?

“I’ve worked here for 26 years now, but we are still just a small team - there’s only four of us that make frames!”

What makes an A&J sofa different to other sofas on the market?

“The Arlo & Jacob style is quite classic with some period and retro-inspired pieces, and I think you can tell traditional methods have been made to craft each piece.”

What’s your favourite thing to do when relaxing on your sofa?

“Fall asleep!”

What do you think is the perfect sofa feature?

“I find myself very drawn to colour so I’d really like a sofa in a bright, bold pattern. Then I’d also like it to have big arms and a deep seat. I could see myself relaxing on that.”

How long does it take to construct the frame / upholster the sofa?

“About 3 ½ hours, depending on who makes it!”

What’s your favourite sofa fabric?

“I like a fabric that not only looks good but also feels great.”

What’s the most important skill required for your job?

“To know all the different sizes of springs and other materials that go into the job. Even though I spend each day making many different frames the skills required across each are actually very similar.”

Which is your favourite A&J piece and why?

“The Pembroke love seat because it’s small enough for one yet big enough for two!”

Do you prefer making traditional-style pieces or more contemporary sofas?

“It really depends. I like a traditional look, but for some the smooth lines of a contemporary-style sofa fit their decor and lifestyle. Either way the skill set here is second to none and because of this the sofa and upholstery will last much longer than other sofas on the market.”