Behind the brand… Tom and Annie of Plank Hardware

Whether you’re renovating your first home or want a little update that doesn’t cost the world, changing up the hardware on your kitchen cabinets, chest-of-drawers or bathroom storage has never been easier. Plank Hardware are here to transform your space with well-designed and high-quality materials, we chatted to the founders to find out more…  

plank hardware

Thank you for chatting to us today, for anyone who has not heard of Plank what can they expect?

Hey! We’re Tom and Annie of Plank Hardware. It’s affordable, responsibly made and designed to inspire your creative projects. We love to see our customers working with what they have, switching up cupboard doors, hardware and other finishing touches to transform their space.

What’s the story behind the Plank journey?

Tom: I had a few entrepreneurial pursuits earlier in my career. I ran a confectionery business with some friends at University and travelled up and down the country going to festivals and shows. I then moved to London and joined an E-commerce consultancy. After that, I was itching to start something of my own again, so I started selling shelves and furniture made from recycled scaffold planks.

Annie and I were also working on a renovation at the time and we started to notice that whilst there was so much inspirational “dream home” content on Pinterest, it was relatively difficult to recreate and source all of the elements. I became interested in the smaller hardware pieces and started to design and curate a range of my own.

Annie: In 2019 Tom’s Etsy business had started to grow and he’d built the Plank Hardware website. I’d been working in finance for several years and at the time I was heading up the function at a scaling e-commerce furniture brand. I’d learned a lot about the homeware category and business growth, so it felt like our skills were a great fit.

We worked on the business together up until the pandemic, where demand really started to take off…

plank hardware

Looking after the planet and sustainability is very important to consumers, could you tell us about how you are eco-conscious?

Annie: After doing our research, we decided to use the B Corp framework to look at all aspects of our Environmental, Social and Governance responsibilities. We’ve been working through this process and we’re just in the queue for our application to be reviewed at the moment.

Because we’re a physical product business, the environmental aspect is where our biggest impact will always lie. We started with a carbon audit for 2020 and 2021, where we looked deeply at our supply chain end to end to assess our current carbon footprint and formulate a reduction plan.

So far we have arranged to remove all plastic from our supply chain, and we’ve begun switching our black handles to Aluminium and our silver coloured products to stainless steel, both of which carry a smaller carbon footprint than solid brass.

Our next step will be to work with recycled metals. We also offer a recycling programme where customers can send back their old hardware to us to ensure that it is recycled properly.

Your Instagram has such a dedicated community and you work with an array of influencers, renovators, up-cyclists to create unique content, can you tell us a little bit more about how you decided to be so hands on?

Tom: We noticed fairly early in the journey that we had a really engaged base of followers who had their own home renovation Instagram account. We realised these people were just like we were when we were doing that first renovation project – feeling energised to get stuck into a project, yet struggling to source the exact components for the perfect outcome. We loved seeing these customers recommend Plank to one another and inspire each other to take on new creative projects. It felt like the perfect way to continue building a bank of authentic content.

plank hardware

Have you got Plank in your own home/flat? If so, what did you go with?

Annie: We do! We spruced up our existing kitchen by replacing the existing gloss white doors with a matt blue tone and adding Industrial Grey Knurled KEPLER Handles. We went with the Black Heavyweight KEPLER Handles version in our recent loft conversion, we’ve got PEARCE Polygon Handles with back plates in our dining room and, finally, there’s the elegant LEVI Hooks in our bathroom (for my fluffy dressing gown).

Where do you find your daily inspiration?

Tom: When it comes to design, whether I’m out and about at restaurants, hotels, shopping or outdoors, I’m constantly looking for new shapes and forms that could be applied to functional hardware and finishing touches for the home. We love to see a trend reflected in every detail, at the moment we’re seeing some lovely curved shapes and colour being reintroduced to the table in a big way.

Annie: We always look to our customers too; they are our best source of feedback for how we can offer great design, great service and content that interests them.

If someone is struggling to pick the perfect handle, what advice would you give them?

Tom: If you have existing handles, check out the hole distance and see what’s available that fits. Then have a look at colour; brass works great on mid tones like blue and pink, matt black Aluminium looks lovely with greens (and is more sustainable too!)

Annie: We offer appointments at our Leyton studio where customers can come and look at the range and compare options. Customers are also welcome to order samples and return these free of charge once they’ve made a final decision.

What would you say has been the standout highlight since you started Plank Hardware?

Tom: We have run two campaigns in partnership with Crisis UK, where we raised over £18k to help hundreds of people who don’t have access to the home comforts we might take for granted. As we’re growing, we’ll continually look for ways to give back to our stakeholders.

Thanks for speaking with us!