Introducing Arnie.M

A year on from taking home the post-its and claiming a corner of our lives for ‘work’ we’ve learnt that everything the WFH experts said was true: dress for work, make time for fresh air, stock up on Pom-Bears for bribing the kids and, most importantly, create a workspace you can ‘close’ at the end of the day.

Fortuitously, Arnie.M, a Manchester-based family business launched last year, were way ahead in the WFH game and had already dedicated the last few years to stress-testing their beautifully designed & crafted modular home-workspace.

Matt, Angela and the two Arnies.

Brothers & Sisters ask Matt, the creative behind the Arnie.M concept, about the other Arnie – the inspiration behind the concept (clue: it’s a small human) and the local network of skilled craftspeople who helped to bring the idea to life…

What is Arnie.M.?

Arnie.M. is a compact, modular workspace that fits together for you. Starting with the frame, you basically hang the units you need onto that. The concept is conceived & crafted in Manchester.

Arnie.M is built to last and versatile. The idea is, buy it once and it will flex to your needs for the rest of your working life.

Where did the idea for Arnie.M come from?

Like all parents-to-be, before our son Arnie happened in 2018, we got totally into preparing for our hoped-for happy event. The challenge was around space, because our small house also has to function as my studio.

If you make a living from home, you’ll know that balancing domestic stuff with work demands can be a bit of a headache. Life and work need to be in balance, and we couldn’t really figure how to sort this given our limited space issue.

The little man on set. Meet the inspiration behind Arnie.M

So how did Arnie.M come to life?

Angela and I had lots of discussions plus we did quite a bit of research and began to flag a solution. Conclusion: maybe it was time for us to go into the carpentry business.

My background Is in brand design and strategy, and with the help of friends and contacts in the creative and craft industries in and around Manchester, my design ideas were skilfully translated into a for-real form – a workspace that worked practically and aesthetically in our small space.

How did you arrive at the final modular design?

Clearly, little Arnie M’s arrival changed our lives in many brilliant ways, and we began to see that my workspace was really helping. Friends and family who saw it liked the look, they were impressed by how a complete ‘office’ could be contained in one piece of domestic furniture. Well, for a couple of minutes anyway, before Arnie obviously stole the show on every visit.

18 months of development and tweaking have followed, refining details, improving, simplifying, taking advice, adding more flexibility. The ‘workspace’ now has a proper name: no prizes for guessing why it’s Arnie.M. After our little Arnie Alfred Maurer, we launched in 2020.

Initial brand identity scribbled on the back of a fish and chip box.

How is Arnie.M made?

The whole thing is constructed from B/B grade 18mm birch plywood — beautiful stuff, and highly durable too.

You tell us what you need – frame, legs, small door unit, desk unit plus 2x small door units – whatever. Just take your pick from the modular options and configure your Arnie.M your way. Then the guys in Manchester can get cracking with the build.

What has been the best part of setting up your own independent business so far?

Most importantly, we’ve got to know an amazing network of skilled people; it feels a lot like the three of us are now also part of a wider, very supportive family here in Manchester.

Matt & Angela built the first Arnie.M for themselves and lived with it over many months to refine the details.

What are your ambitions for 2021 and beyond?

We want to carefully grow the Arnie.M family for everyone’s benefit. Working in environmental, sustainable ways and supporting our small but talented collective in doing what they do best – handcrafting with pride and attention to detail are both really important to us.

We want our boy Arnie to benefit from the work he’s inspired, but it’s not about making shedloads of money for ourselves through a vast global corporation, it’s about building a sustainable business that’s focused on doing the right thing.

In the future we hope our Arnie will be proud of the way we and our friends have gone about doing this. And if you choose an Arnie.M modular workspace, we hope it brings you good things for years to come.

The Arnie.M family are always up for talking about Arnie.M, if you want to know a bit more find their phone number and email address on their website.

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