The primary focus of my business is on the architectural interior design for residential, commercial and property development. I provide fully customisable front to back end design solutions working closely with clients to realise their property aspirations and to suit their budgets. There that’s the pitch over!
So how did I get started? My background is in architecture and I had always had a particular passion for the interior side. [I had worked many years ago on the Malmaison Hotels with Amanda Rosa]. At the same time as my youngest heading off to school a close friend asked if I would help do up her new house and I thought why not? Perhaps not the best approach to starting a business …no business plan, no accountant, no money to invest, no idea really!! However I did it, I loved it and more importantly she loved her house.
From there I cajoled a good friend in to setting up a basic website, [they did wonders with only two projects worth of photographs – one of which was my own house!] I didn’t advertise [couldn’t afford to] but I did network and found that I gradually picked up work through direct and indirect [social] networking. I was also careful not to turn any work down. One of my earliest commissions was to advise a client on a chair for her kitchen! I have since then been commissioned to renovate her house, garden and also helped style her wedding!
Much of my initial work [and present] followed a similar pattern. I am often asked to look at a single room or simply give some advice. By building good client relationships and trust [I have been told that I listen to my clients and am able to translate their aspirations to a finished product] I have been rewarded with on going repeated business. Last year after completing works to a client’s house I went on to carry out the interior design of her business premises.
The business has now been running for 7 years and whilst I have premises in Stirling I still tend to work from home with the premises being used for storage of furniture etc. for my next project. As my work is all project based I don’t operate a shop front. I presently do not employ any staff. However I do use a number of local trades persons to carry out my renovation works and where I can will use local suppliers. I have built up good relationships with all my suppliers and trades whom I trust and who seldom let me down. This too is key to the success of my business.
Whilst my projects are varied one aspect of my business has been the refurbishment of property for the rental market including a number of holiday lets.
Following the successful renovation of a flat in Leith, Edinburgh the same client approached me looking to purchase a further property in Edinburgh to add to their long-term investment portfolio. Within 3 months I had found the perfect flat – a 2-bed property in Trinity in need of full renovation. A design and initial cost report was presented to the client along with projected rental figures
Full renovation of the property took place including new central heating system, rewiring, new kitchen, bathroom, and full redecoration and floor coverings. I brought in my team of contractors and the works were completed within 16 weeks. The property was let as a fully furnished property – I supplied all furniture and fittings down to the teaspoons in the kitchen drawers!
At the other end of the scale I also undertook a more modest renovation of a 2-bedroom tenement property in Roslin, which was only attracting a limited rental. We used our skills in staging to maximise the marketability and assist with the renting of the property in the shortest time for the highest price. The entire flat was redecorated and re carpeted, the kitchen and bathroom were given a facelift and a modest amount of furniture and new fittings were supplied. The entire works were executed in under 8 weeks and the property was let within a month of completion for double its original rental.
2015 looks exciting. I am currently renovating an old Inn in to a bar/restaurant and farm shop and this week I am meeting with new clients to look at the interior of their house and business premises. At the same time I am also delighted to be doing up a small loo / cloak room for a client too.
I love what I do and I believe its my passion and enthusiasm that makes me good at what I do. I don’t always get the business side right but have learned to seek help with areas that I am no good at! I still don’t have a business plan but I do now have a bookkeeper and accountant!
More details, and to book your home or office makeover, see http://www.janenelsoninteriors.com/JNI.html