Shops & Markets

Bespoke furniture pop-up shop returns to Altrincham’s Air Gallery this weekend

By Josh Peachey at

Nellie K, a bespoke furniture shop, is hosting another pop-up stall at Air Gallery in Altrincham this weekend.

The company, run by Sarah Kelly, specialises in bespoke furniture and upholstery but also sell products like bags and cushions made with their own unique Manchester fabric design.

The pop-up shop will be open at Air Gallery on Grosvenor Road from 10am until 5pm this Saturday, December 1st, and from 10am until 4pm on Sunday, December 2nd.

Sarah Kelly (left) with Helen Wright from HFW Upholstery

Sarah said: “The pop-up shop is a chance for people to buy some of the products but also to see what I can create for them.

“I’m always open to speaking to people about what they want. Being able to give someone exactly what they want, an item that nobody else owns is really important to me.”

Nellie K’s products include bags, draw units, footstools, benches, chairs, sofas and the furniture shop has recently partnered up with Helen Wright at HFW Upholstery to create some room screens for next year.

The Christian Lacroix velvet that will be used for the first room screen

Sarah added: “It’s brilliant to see a tired-looking piece of furniture, that was really well-loved by a family, come to life again with some new fabric on it.

She sources a lot of old furniture online, at thrift shops, or at antique fairs but tries to avoid spending too much.

“Hand on heart, the furniture I make is reasonably priced. It’s not a matter of trying to get lots of money out of people. It’s about making products that are a decent price and are of great value to the customers.”

A chair upholstered by Nellie K

Sarah started the business four years ago after working in corporate communications for 18 years.

“I just got sick and tired of being in London two days a week, never seeing the kids, getting home late every night and so on. I thought, there’s got to be a different way of working.

She started doing upholstery as a form of therapy from her other work and the business grew from there.

Proudly born and bred in Lancaster, Sarah grew into her craftsmanship and takes great pleasure in making things that other people are proud to have in their home.

She said: “I wasn’t particularly creative as a kid but my parents really were. My mum was an amateur artist and my dad used to design record sleeves in Withington. They were very creative and it’s only really until recently when I’ve started to make things.

A Nellie K cushion featuring their unique Manchester-inspired fabric design

The name Nellie K comes from Sarah’s great grandmother, Nellie, who was described as “a formidable lady” despite being only 4ft 10in tall.

Sarah said: “Nellie saved up a load of money from working in the mills so that she could set up a greengrocer that my grandfather and my mother both ended up working in.

“In terms of what I want the company ethos to be, Great grandmother Nellie represents all of that; hard-working, honest, and determined to do well.”