Hello and thanks for dropping by! I’m going to give you a little insight into who I am and what I do – I design & fabricate quirky yet functional pieces of furniture, homewares and fittings from steel, aluminium, copper and salvaged materials. I am extremely passionate about metalworking, welding, forging, plasma cutting – you name it!
I’m also always striving to save furniture, textiles & raw materials from landfill, so it made sense to combine the two and use these skills to make the undesirable & unwanted desirable again. I love great design, bold colours, patterns and attention to detail – which is something I strive towards in everything I create.
I was given the title ‘The Salvage Sister’ by Channel 4, when I became the salvage expert & designer on ‘Fill Your House for Free’. If you tuned in you saw a lot of skip diving, salvaging, reclaiming, bartering & upcycling! Never one to shy away from a challenge I got stuck in with my power tools and created some really inspirational pieces from ‘trash’!
More recently I created bespoke furniture on BBC1’s ‘Get the Builders in’, where I used steel angle iron and reclaimed scaffold boards to create beautiful custom shelving and cupboards.
I was first on your screens in 2011 as the presenter & designer on The New Reclaimers on UKTVhome, which was a makeover series with a difference. The raw materials, furniture & home furnishings used in the homes were sourced much cheaper than their usual RRP. I found these items by buying second hand from reuse centres, charity shops and discounted & discontinued lines. I also upcycled old unwanted items of furniture & home wares to give the family’s the beautiful, yet functional rooms they had always dreamed of. This was the first upcycling ‘maker’ show on British television, which set the standard for many to come.
So how did Charis come to be The Salvage Sister I hear you ask…
My father was born in 1936 and grew up through World War 2 during the blitz, and food & textile rations. This had a profound effect on Mr Williams who grew into a very waste conscious man, and has been known to ration toilet paper, among other essentials… not the trait most appreciated by his teenage daughters as they grew up! He also ran his own painting & decorating business which where Charis learnt a great deal about DIY & giving interiors a professional finish.
My Mother, Mrs Williams started up ‘Revamp Fancy Dress’ in a back street of Brighton’s cosmopolitan North Laine when I was just five years old. I accompanied my Mother to several car boot sales every Sunday looking for vintage & retro clothing, shoes & accessories. We also went on regular trips to Amsterdam to find one of a kind vintage 1960’s & 70’s clothing & platforms to hire in the shop. I gained my bargain spotting eye & learnt how to barter with the best!
I really hate waste, I don’t understand the fascination the majority of people have with ‘NEW’, so many items of furniture and clothing these days are not made to last and are basically ‘throw away’ items that the planet cannot sustain. I’d much rather have a well made, quality item which was built to last 100 years ago than a substandard flimsy one which will break soon after it’s bought.
The future for The Salvage Sister
I am very excited to be working on my first ever ‘collection’ of work, since learning how to weld, cast and forge I find I am so full of ideas and inspiration it is hard to keep up!
The body of work will be launched this May 2018 and will be full of beautifully designed, functional items for the home or business. The items will be on sale through this website in the shop tab, and at select stores.
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There is always something new and exciting on the horizon, you haven’t seen the last of the Salvage Sister, with more TV shows and collaborations in the pipeline this year is set to be my busiest yet!