The Furniture Whisperer

Lifestyle

The Furniture Whisperer

Sunday, October 25, 2020

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The name Prince A Palmer is whispered with reverence by those who have had the good fortune of turning visions of inspired living into reality. And just like whispered elegance, the 52-year-old Palmer, who has been designing and manufacturing furniture on his own for two decades, allows his work to do most of the talking.

Palmer cites Ulster Spring, Trelawny, as his birthplace and Albert Town Secondary School where he opened his first exercise book and graduated. Migrating to St James allowed him to attend St Francis Vocational Training Centre By HEART for cabinet-making.

Internship followed before he, in 1992, started working for Frank Williams, who owned and managed F&P Manufacturers. The company made furniture, games pieces and other small souvenirs. Williams's death in 1996 afforded Palmer the opportunity to purchase the company; which he did.

“That was the birth of Palmer's Unique Furniture Manufacturing,” he shared with the Style Observer (SO). “I reached out to all the clients he worked with and I have provided, and am still providing, customed designed pieces for them to this day.”

The family business is operated by Palmer, his daughter Trishauni Palmer and his wife Carmen Blair-Palmer.

Like most manufacturers, he has had ups and down. His most challenging, albeit memorable, took place at the Tryall Golf Club, circa 2003/2004. “We had to make and install furniture pieces for the entire house but we also had to make and install intricate pieces for the bathroom, which was very challenging due to the amount of glass that was required for the completed look. The interior designer, Sue Williams, her staff along with myself and my staff worked together and executed the job to satisfy the client's vision.”

Palmer also impressed Devin Powell, interior decorator at the time for the Round Hill Hotel and Villas and who subsequently worked for noted fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Powell recommended Palmer to Lauren. Palmer's furniture holds pride of place inside Lauren's Round Hill villa.

In a world of pre-fab, disposable and quick turnovers it is instructive that the old world charm of furniture making can still hold its own. “There are a lot of people who appreciate and prefer to acquire furniture made with genuine materials, handcrafted, and one-of-a-kind... We are here and happy to satisfy those desires.”

Indeed, Palmer's preferred materials are teak, mahogany and cedar. Why? “Because they are more durable than other types and also they provide more of a refined finish” is his matter-of-fact response.

The novel coronavirus has, however, had a negative impact “This time of year is usually our busiest as clients tend to want to do some redecorating ahead of the holiday season. This year with the pandemic we have noticed a large decline in those redecorations as everyone seeks to save as much as they can,” he surmises.

Not one to be daunted though, he is focused on looking into ways to make Palmer's Unique Furniture Manufacturing more fluent with new technologies that will help in making the company more versed in the types of jobs that can be done and will in turn provide new offerings and hopefully new clients as well. On the drawing board, too, are plans to train young people who are willing to learn the skill and execute at his high standards.

His message to the next generation is suitably apt in these times. “Find a skill, something that you are passionate about and then perfect it. Sometimes, it may seem difficult, but don't quit, just pause for a moment and approach with a different mindset because one day you might just end up being your own boss and doing very well at it.”

SO invites you to learn more from the master himself, Prince Palmer, by joining #DesignWeekJa2020 on Wednesday, October 28 @10:00 am. Registration is FREE! JOL IG LIVE

Palmer's Unique Furniture Manufacturing is located in Anchovy, St

James, at the Gas Station Plaza.

Call 876-956-4363 or e-mail puf.mfg@gmail.com.


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