'Country people love nice things' - Maphead, the antique furniture specialist

February 28, 2018
Cleon 'Turner' Johnson is helping to create another work of art.
Despite having no formal trading in furniture making, Herbert 'Maphead' Williams is a master of the craft.
This sign at Maphead's One Stop shop in Goshen Clarendon, makes it clear that credit will not be given during business hours.

Herbert 'Maphead' Williams has been the main furniture maker in Goshen, Clarendon, over the past two decades.

"It's something me love from long time eno. Is a good trade, and although me never get no formal training, me take me little time and learn the thing from other furniture man growing up," Maphead said.

When The STAR visited the shop last week, Maphead and his work partner, Cleon 'Turner' Johnson, were hard at work, building a chest of drawers.

"A mostly antique tings we build eno. People love buy we tings dem cuz dem look different from those in some a the store dem, and the furniture dem long-lasting," Turner said.

Inside Maphead's workshop are unfinished furniture, all of which, he said, he has already received deposits for.

"The place busy most times, especially around the holiday seasons, because that's when people change out dem furniture dem. An average time to finish an item would be about two or three weeks," Maphead said.

Community members are their main customers, but his furniture store sometimes attracts customers from neighbouring parishes as well.

"Me used to sell a man who did have a furniture store but it did close down, but I really get the support from the community members. Country people love nice things. Some people may complain that the prices are a bit expensive but my products are durable, all made from natural materials," he said.

Maphead utilises board that are cut from cedar, pine and guango trees to make his furniture. He cashes in on the wood shavings too, and based on a notice painted on the wall of a grocery shop he operates at the same spot, he does not offer credit.

"Me no waste nothing eno, everything have value, down to the sawdust. I usually sell them for $200 per crocus bag. It very useful to people who raise chickens. Inna di country ya, we just have to find a means of surviving," he said.

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