An Interview With Doormate

I’m talking about “ Doors “ this week – not the musical group although there is a musical connection – but the home furniture variety. Sliding barn doors are all the rage at the moment – I came across a report by Zillow when I was in the process of moving house, that homes that listed “sliding barn doors “ in their description sold for 13.4% more on average than their expected value. Alas my house didn’t have barn doors. Even so, barn doors are a delight and who better to talk to about them is Terry from Doormate ….he can also explain the music connection! Hi Terry!

Hi, I’m Terry also known as The Dude or Spike to friends depending how you know me from music or just everyday life. I’m a well old punk rocker and a bit of an eco warrior. I played drums in a Punk band for over 30 years trying to spread the word on how to put the world right. A lot of the messages in our songs would include looking after the planet and each other. I’ve worked in the industrial door industry for over 20 years and had a great boss that would give me anytime I needed off with the band including a 5 week tour of the east coast of the States that actually inspired the name for our products. All our product names are places we played.on that tour. Through the years I’m often finding myself skip diving seeing value in other people’s so called rubbish. After leaving the band ( i just couldn’t play 100mph anymore lol) I had a couple more years with my former employer, Action Doors. I must give Gareth a “Shout Out “ here as well as being a really cool boss he became a close friend. I wanted to branch out on my own but I didn’t want to compete with Gareth, who specialised in roller shutter doors. So I set up a sliding door company – an area not covered by Action Doors.

What inspired the founding of Door Mate?

Being a punk and playing in a band most of my adult life, I’d never built up any financial stability. A lot of the gigs we never got paid for doing – a lot of charity & fundraiser gigs for great causes for humanity & the environment . I thought I’ve  got nothing to leave my children (Stefan & Tegan) when I pass on, so I started DoorMate. At least they would have jobs – they both help out and I hope to pass the business onto them, if we make any money of course, lol. Also when I was at Action Doors we used to rip out tonnes of all timber doors and frames for new doors or shutters that would be skipped. I just thought what a waste and they were going to landfill back in those days, soooo sad. So, I thought, let’s try and make doors from used timber (later to be known as reclaimed timber). Finally the world seemed to wake up to the senseless waste and reclaimed timber become recognised not only for the reusability but the sheer beauty it offers over force grown modern equivalents. Some councils / building control now insist a certain amount of materials removed from a property during renovation on a refurb now have to be reused in the property. Yeah!!

Your own sliding barn door hardware started being manufactured in 2015 & has become the most popular product from your range. What do you think has made them a top seller?

As well as offering the barn door hardware & barn doors, we also sell garage doors & steel doors, but for every 40 barn doors / hardware enquiries, we get 1 garage or steel door enquiry. I think it is part of the recycle, reuse, reduce attitude people have now adopted too, and we love it that way! Some of the reviews we get really warms my heart. We are so proud of what we create and when other people see it, it’s just inspiring. In my search for reclaimed timber, I reunited with an old friend a couple of years ago, who now owns a demolition company and he keeps me supplied with beautiful old beams & timber from old churches, factories & pubs, schools etc. I wish I could keep it all but unfortunately we haven’t got the room as our workshop is quite small.

You can use barn doors virtually anywhere in your house – what has been the strangest or most innovative use for barn doors that you’ve come across?

The idea behind the barn doors were to use in the home as a bit of a trendy reclaimed product. So it may sound funny, but probably the strangest was to make an actual barn door 4m x 5m!!The customer also had a more standard size barn door inside the house. I would like to point out the large door was made from new timber, as we do use new timber too. It is a great reference for customers asking how much weight our hardware will take, I just send the picture lol.

As DoorMate is based in Wales, are your products available to purchase and order worldwide?

We do offer worldwide delivery and have sent doors all over Europe but some of the shipping on the doors further afield can be quite expensive.

Have you always wanted a career in door manufacturing, or did you have ambitions elsewhere?

Well, I did want to be a rock star but having achieved this lol, manufacturing was next on my list. On a serious note, I love what I do now and I think it still allows the creative part in me to still be alive.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Sorry it’s a bit boring but jeans & tshirt, and a short sleeve shirt when I’m trying to look smart but that never works!  I’ve been told I would look like crap with a £4000 Armani suit on. Labels are defo not my thing.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Not really not much of a shopper to be honest. I use Asda’s George or Matalan for clothes.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

Defo time for a couple of new short sleeve shirts – I always seem to have the same one on in pics lol.

Boots or Shoes?

Trainers: Gola the only branded item I wear and they are known as the poor man’s Adidas. Perfect!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about DoorMate

For Pinning Later

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Absolutely fabulous chatting to you Terry … and I think t shirt and jeans are just fine!

Linda x

All photographs have been published with kind permission of Doormate.

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