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Meet the YPIE Group: Harriet Poppy Speed

It’s our final week of the 2019 Young Professional Industry Experience – our three week intensive programme where aspiring young people are given the opportunity to visit and understand all areas of the furniture industry, including materials, designing, manufacturing, pricing, marketing, sales, and customer service.

This week the young professionals are visiting Axminster, Halstock, Herman Miller, Ercol, Hypnos, Fira and the Furniture Ombudsman.

Today we meet Harriet Poppy Speed who is a Furniture Design Engineer at Ercol.

What attracted you to the company you work for?

I appreciate the history of Ercol as a company and like that they combine traditional craft techniques with modern manufacturing. I am also a huge fan of their original designs.

Tell us one thing you love about the company you work for?

I really like the work Ercol are doing with schools in and around Buckinghamshire where they are based. I have benefited from one of their educational collaborations myself, therefore I know what a huge benefit this is for students hoping to enter into the industry or pursue a creative pathway.

What’s your career goal right now?

I want to do a PhD investigating how furniture making skills and craft can be used to incite equality and social change. I am also particularly interested in looking at how a feminist approach can improve the furniture industry.

Which company are you most looking forward to visiting on the YPIE programme?

I am excited to visit the Blum factory in Milton Keynes. After seeing their manufacturing sites in Austria, it will be interesting to see how they distribute their products using automated machines.

For more information about Ercol visit