Taurus is a family business.
It’s owned and run by me, Gouldi, and my brother PJ.
This is fitting, because the business was started and owned until 2013 by Martin and Tom Walsh, also brothers, and we took over from them when they retired.
The Taurus story
Back in 1979 Martin, who was a schoolteacher, decided to build a couple of wooden beds for his children.
Armed with a handsaw, a power drill and an old table as a workbench, he set to work, sanding the beds by hand and finishing them with beeswax. Even he was surprised by how well they turned out.
Friends then began asking Martin whether he would make beds for them, and he agreed to make a couple more beds. It soon became apparent that there was a big demand for simple, well built solid wooden beds.
Martin carried on making the beds in his spare time and advertised them in the classified section of the local paper in Kilburn. Demand grew until there weren't enough hours in Martin’s day for him to teach and make wooden beds.
Full time bed makers
Martin gave up his job and rented a small workshop at the Production Village in Cricklewood, north west London, just a few miles from our current showroom. After a year, demand for his beds was so heavy that he needed a much larger workshop, and so Taurus moved to a new showroom with a workshop at the back, in Belsize Road, Kilburn.
Then something amazing happened.
The London what’s on magazine, Time Out, published an article about pine beds, and gave Martin’s beds such a glowing write up that the demand that followed meant that the Belsize Road workshop was too small.
As a result, Taurus moved to a 4000 square foot joinery workshop in Scrubs Lane, Willesden.
In 1992 Martin's brother Tom, who had been designing and making furniture at his own workshop, joined Taurus and he and Martin worked together until his retirement in 2011.
Passing the flame
In 2012, after 33 years of making and selling wooden beds, Martin also decided to retire.
But he was keen to find new owners who would recognise the unique quality of a Taurus Bed, and be able to grow the business, particularly online.
I had been working for a large bed retailer for a number of years, and my brother had a good deal of experience in business development and in selling online.
So in 2013, after almost a year of falling in love with the quality of Taurus’s beds and the amazing reputation for customer service the company enjoyed, we agreed to take over.
Martin was kind enough to say that we reminded him of himself and Tom, twenty-five years earlier.
We have changed almost nothing.
We still cut, plane, turn, joint, and wax, lacquer or paint every piece of furniture to order, for each individual customer.
Customers for life
The thing which has amazed us most is the loyalty of customers who come back to us half a lifetime on from first buying a bed from Taurus.
It’s not uncommon for people to come into the shop and to tell us that they first bought from Taurus back in the eighties and still have that bed in use.
They come back because the beds were great quality. And because they were looked after well by people who cared.
We’re never, ever going to let that change.