Meet the upcycling expert and Sunderland business boss who brings an exciting new life to old furniture

A Sunderland business owner is breathing new life into old sofa legs.

Upcycling expert Andy Buddin is making sure that disused furniture gets a fresh look – by creating amazing new pieces such as footstools.

He is continuing to thrive after a great 2021 in which he won a Sunderland Echo business award.

And now he is back in the running for more honours and said: “It is lovely to be recognised.”

Andy Buddin who runs Andyman Upcycling.

Andy runs Andyman Upcycling in Jacky White’s Market. His success has earned him a nomination in the new-look Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards. The nomination said his new stand had become ‘the perfect raised grass platform for bureaus, dressers and sideboards’.

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But he has gone even further in 2022 and is now collaborating with two shops in the city. He receives shop damaged sofa legs and material off cuts to reuse rather than them going to waste.

Andy Buddin.

All this has happened since Andy first moved into the market around five years ago - and only originally planned to stay for a fortnight.

"I was only supposed to be there over the Christmas period and we are still here,” he said.

Now he describes Jacky White’s market as his firm’s ‘forever home’ and believes a reinvigorated market has benefits for the wider community as well as being the hub of the neighbourhood.

Andyman Upcycling joins a growing list of entries for this year’s awards but we want more. Follow the nomination details below.

Andy collects his Sole Trader of the Year trophy at last year's awards from Paul McEldon from the North East BIC.

This year’s awards backers include Sunderland City Council, our partners in the competition and the headline sponsors.

Also on board are the North East BIC, Chilli Mangoes, Marelli, Wilf Husband, Harrison and Brown, and Sunderland College.

Now it is over to you. We want the best in Wearside and County Durham industry to enter the awards.

To enter, choose the most appropriate category for your business, and nominate by using the link below.

The Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards.

You can nominate your own firm or a company which you think deserves an accolade.

For further information and to enter, visit

Closing date for entries is Friday, September 23. Judging will take place shortly after the closing date and the shortlist will be announced in early October.

The eventual winners will then be duly announced at a finals night in November.

Before then, though, we need your entries and here are the categories for this year. It’s a mix of much-loved awards from previous years and some great new additions.

The categories:

*SME Business of the Year - (Sponsored by the North East BIC).

*Large Business of the Year - (Sponsored by Chilli Mangoes).

*Best Independent Business.

*Social Enterprise of the Year - (Sponsored by the North East BIC).

*Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Business of the Year.

*Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

*Sustainable Initiative of the Year - (Sponsored by Marelli)

*Business in the Community Award.

*Employer of the Year.

*Entrepreneur of the Year.

*Lifetime Achievement Award.

*Business of the Year (Sponsored by Sunderland City Council).

Get those entries in and put your company in the running for honours.