Old cutlery workshop forges a new future

A new spacious hair salon called Laundry has opened on Arundel Street, Sheffield. Co-owners Sally Clark and Mitchell Wilson
A new spacious hair salon called Laundry has opened on Arundel Street, Sheffield. Co-owners Sally Clark and Mitchell Wilson

A former Sheffield cutlery workshop is at the cutting edge of change in a corner of the city centre.

Sellers Wheel, a grade II listed building in Arundel Street, was once alive with workers churning out pocket knives, razors and cutlery.

Now it is buzzing with new life – as local businesses reinvent the building using materials salvaged from schools, factories and even buses.

First to move in was café Tamper, named best newcomer in the recent Eat Sheffield Awards.

Now comes Laundry, home of hair expert Mitchell Wilson, the man responsible for bringing Toni&Guy to Sheffield.

The 19th century courtyard complex is in the Cultural Industries Quarter, near Hallam University.

Built by John Sellers & Sons, it has been restored by the team from design company 93ft – who revived the Chimney House at Kelham Island three years ago as a base for their operation, with facilities for conferences, meetings, dining and wedding receptions.

Mitchell Watson is a friend of 93ft boss Tim Hubbard. He and partner Sally Clark were looking for a new project and Mitch was looking for a fresh challenge. The Sellers Wheel complex presented the answer.

Tim and Sally took over the shell of the 2000 sq ft building in April. Since then it has been transformed.

At the front is a reception area and quirky gift shop, its flooring reclaimed from a local school gym – coloured court markings still in evidence – and display shelving created from classroom benches, etched with scholars’ names and even chewing gum remains.

The waiting room has exposed brick walls and a row of chrome and leather seats, salvaged from an old bus.

The salon itself has flooring from a disused mill, reassembled in a herringbone pattern, and huge A-frame mirrors made of more gym flooring. Reconditioned architectural lighting adds a signature touch.

But the focal point is a line of heavy-duty tables, cast on site from solid concrete and buffed to perfection.

“It all started with our parquet tables at the Chimney House; we’ve since supplied them to clients all over the world,” says Sally. “Now we’ve taken our own tables to a different level.”

Mitch has picked a team of experts to join him, including Glen John-Lewis, former style director at Toni&Guy, and Billie Mo Tredgett, colourist to the glitterati of Shoreditch until returning home to Sheffield.

Laundry is due to be officially launched today.