A bathroom and kitchen design studio, based in Llanelli, has gone from strength to strength and is celebrating its one-year anniversary, after receiving start-up support from Business Wales.
Coast Bathrooms and Kitchens is a high quality design studio run in partnership by Jan Miles and Melanie Edwards. The idea for the business was originally raised in January 2015 when the partners decided to combine their 40 years of industry experience to target a gap in the local market, providing up-market kitchen and bathroom design services.
The directors got in touch with the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service in April and shortly after they both completed a series of workshops and were offered one-to-one advice with a business adviser, who helped support the launch plan for the company. The business successfully opened on October 9th 2015.
After leaving their successful jobs in the summer of 2015 to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions, there were many doubts between the partners about whether they were doing the right thing, especially when they shared their plans with others and received feedback that they’d chosen a poor spot to open the studio. However, with support of Business Wales and strong knowledge of the local area, Jan and Mel remained confident in their plans.
Director Melanie Edwards said:
“After the first week or two we realised we were onto a good thing. People thought we were daft but it’s the best thing we could have done, it’s been tremendous. The impact of the shop window, the strong community vibe and feedback from people about how we’re brightening up the high street has been amazing. We’ve found that people aren’t afraid to spend on high quality goods and design.
“Our proudest moment was definitely the launch weekend, the amount of compliments we had from customers about the quality of workmanship in our products and the appearance of our showroom was overwhelming. The gifts we’ve since received from happy customers have also been really appreciated and never fail to bring a smile to our faces.”
Discussing the support they received from Business Wales, Melanie said:
“They were marvellous and easy to understand, keeping things simple and taking us through issues step by step. We couldn’t have written the business plan without the support of our adviser – we knew the answers but struggled to translate our thoughts into a cohesive plan. I would definitely recommend the experience to others thinking about setting up their own business.”
Shahidul Islam, adviser to Jan and Melanie at Business Wales, said:
“Our role is to provide entrepreneurs with the dedicated support they need to get their businesses running, with a solid plan in place to achieve sustainable growth. We are delighted that Jan and Melanie are celebrating their first anniversary for Coast Bathroom and Kitchens and we wish them all the best in the future.”
Coast Bathroom & Kitchen’s top 5 tips for anyone else starting up their own business would be:
- Know the business you are about to enter extensively
- Plan your budget carefully and, more importantly, stick to it!
- Have conviction, energy and commitment to achieve your dream. Focus on your goal.
- Set objectives that you hope to achieve within your first year, second year etc.
- Get as much business advice as possible from all organisations that are prepared to help
Business Wales, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, supports the sustainable growth of small and medium size enterprises across the country by offering access to information, guidance and business support.
To find out how Business Wales can help start or develop your business, call 03000 6 03000, follow @_businesswales or @_busnescymru or visit www.businesswales.gov.wales/everyday-entrepreneur or www.busnescymru.llyw.cymru/entrepreneur-bob-dydd for further information.