THIS week's trader of the week is Middlesbrough home decor business The Copper Piper.

Ken and Sherrie Harris, of Norton, started their firm in 2018 after creating hooks for their own bathroom door.

Mr Harris said: "My wife loves copper decor and asked me to make a couple of hooks out of copper pipe for the bathroom door, next thing you know I’m making valve lamps and coffee tables."

The retired man works out of his garden shed, which he calls his studio, and creates everything from customisable signs and wine bottle stands to lamps.

The Northern Echo:

Most recently, the couple, who lived in Cyprus for 12 years before returning home to the North-East, launched the Copper Stay Safe – a bar of copper on a keyring.

Copper, brass and bronze are well known for their antibacterial qualities, a person rolling the Copper Stay Safe bar across their hands will kill 99.9 per cent of germs.

Mr Harris, who has "done a bit of everything", taking on various trade roles in the past and previously had his own polytunnel business, sources materials for the The Copper Piper from a local plumber.

The dad reflects on memorable moments, saying last year's Harrogate Christmas Market was a favourite.

He said: "We were that busy we had to drive home each night and reload the trailer with stock to the point we had nothing left to sell."

While the company already creates one-off pieces of large furniture, such as tables and shelves made from copper piping and oiled scaffolding board, plans for the future revolve around diversifying its product range.

The Northern Echo:

"We want to keep coming up with original ideas and hopefully get more online," Mr Harris added.

"With the current climate closing most of our shows for 2020, we can’t wait to eventually get back out at the festivals and markets across the country."

For more information, visit The Copper Piper on social media.

The Northern Echo understands most businesses are currently not operating as normal, but we hope to use Trader of the Week to support locals businesses – especially as the region emerges out of lockdown.

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