Barnsley entrepreneur hangs up footy boots and builds on family business tradition

A young Barnsley businessman, who played football at professional league club level as a teenager, is now celebrating ten years running his own bed business.

Adam Oldham, played for Barnsley FC up to the age of 19 and was on standby for the England Under-18s team at the peak of his young sporting career.

Now, aged 30, he is managing director of his own company, By Charles and Charles, which has built a reputation over the last decade as a specialist supplier of head boards and bedsteads – and launches a new product range of mattresses this month.

Adam quickly threw himself into the bed business after his career as a professional footballer ended when Barnsley let him go. He chose the bed industry following in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, both of whom worked for years at Silentnight.

Adam, from Thurgoland, said: “I was obviously very disappointed being dropped by Barnsley after years in the youth team, but being turned down like that was the spur I needed to get out there and set up my own business. The experience made me determined to succeed.

“I used to go to work with Dad sometimes and was always around beds as a kid. Bed manufacturing is really in our blood. It’s a family tradition.”

Adam started his first company, Sleep Marketing, in his father’s garage in Thurgoland. Nearly five years ago and moved the business to new 7,500 square feet premises on the Maple Business Estate, Stocks Lane in Barnsley, renaming it By Charles and Charles.

Adam is now being given free business support by Enterprising Barnsley, which is run by Barnsley Council.

The company employs 15 staff, having taken on three apprentices and two new upholsterers due to increased demand from customers since the beginning of this year. Adam has recently developed a purpose-built trade showroom in Barnsley and will launch his new line of hand-made traditional mattresses at the National Bed Federation Trade Show in Telford this month.

Enterprising Barnsley has helped Adam with expert marketing, contracting, HR and employment matters.

Adam, who is now a Sheffield Futsal player, said: “Enterprising Barnsley has helped us to develop our business from scratch and giving us the confidence to go forward. They are always on hand to lend a hand and give us the benefit of expert advice.”

Enterprising Barnsley’s Angela Pedley said: “Adam is confident and ambitious and it is great to see how well he has developed his business and created jobs over the last ten years. By Charles and Charles builds on Barnsley’s history and Adam’s family tradition of bed-making and I’m sure it has potential to grow more in the future as Adam sets his sights on the EU export market.”

Adam Oldham


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.