Some years ago, my sister and her business partner sought to relocate their expanding soft furnishings/interiors business (The Cherry Tree UK) to the beautiful leafy suburb of Harborne in Birmingham. After months of legal to-ing and fro-ing, hold-ups and money invested, the rug was ceremoniously pulled from underneath them (by a dodgy landlord) and left them without both premises and further finance to try again. It devasted them and knocked their business back 5 years – a sad reality for small businesses in the UK.
Over the following 7 years, the girls (Maxine and Nicky) kept their eye on the High Street in Harborne. Their business continued to grow, not only surviving the worst recession for decades but thriving in it and it soon became very apparent in 2011 that new premises was very much a necessity. Randomly on one of her frequent drives along the High Street, Maxine noticed a lovely 3 storey building at the top of the Hight Street, the first shop in fact, you see as you enter the Village from the City. It held the space and the light needed to host their new ideas and product ranges. Now there was just the small matter of securing it.
4 months later after much negotiation, hold ups and legal BS, the lease was signed and the keys handed over. There was enormous relief and huge excitement here on Monday.
So what’s my involvement here? Well, my relationship with the girls has been long standing – we all worked together 20 years ago, so we all go WAAAAY back. I worked for them as an interiors consultant a few years ago before I set up on my own; I also designed and manage their website and have produced their marketing and advertising material for many years now too; I know their business very well and could add value to it by providing hand made products that compliment their hand-made soft furnishings and renovated furniture. Having an extra pair of hands was also a pre-requisite for them should they ever move or expand – I gladly obliged.
As I said, we were all VERY excited here on Monday. After years of trying, the girls had finally secured a premises in Harborne and I would be moving with them. It has been incredibly hard not to blog about this little achievement for many months but after the failed attempt years ago, I simply didn’t want to jinx anything.
But not anymore. As a little taster, here’s an artist’s impression (that’ll be me playing in Photoshop then) of the new premises – as it is now and how we hope it will look after much painting and decorating. More details will most certainly follow …