WE MET WITH NEIL LOWDON, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT ESSENTIAL INTERIORS IN COUNTY DURHAM, FOR A PRIVATE TOUR OF HIS BRAND NEW SHOWROOM IN CONSETT, AHEAD OF THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH EVENT!
Next month, one of our specialist Second Nature retailers in County Durham is set to open the doors of its brand new showroom, with a new location, larger facilities and a new range of kitchen displays.
To celebrate the upcoming launch, we headed along to meet Managing Director, Neil Lowdon, to get a guided tour of the new space and to get the inside scoop of how he’s feeling before the big day!
CONGRATULATIONS ON THE AMAZING NEW SHOWROOM, NEIL! WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE IT WAS TIME FOR ESSENTIAL INTERIORS TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP?
“Well, for the past three years we have had our showroom in Stanley, County Durham. This is where Essential Interiors was born, and although we loved this space, it was too small for what we wanted to offer our customers in the long run. My wife, Victoria, and I have known that we wanted to invest in more space for a while now, so when the lease on our Stanley showroom was coming to an end, it just seemed natural for us to take the next step.
“We closed the doors to our Stanley showroom in October, and since then we’ve been working on building our new space up from scratch, as there was no electricity or water when we moved into the new unit- it was a shell, but this was perfect for us- it meant we could put our stamp on the facility and make it exactly what we wanted.”
WE THINK YOU’VE DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB WITH THE SHOWROOM- HOW MANY DISPLAYS DOES IT HAVE COMPARED TO YOUR OLD SPACE?
“In Stanley we only had room for three small displays, so we love how bright and spacious our new facility is, with room for four good-sized kitchen displays and a bedroom display (from Second Nature’s sister brand, Kindred Bedrooms).
“We decided to display a mixture of kitchen styles, with a Mornington Beaded kitchen for those searching for a classic, detailed option, two Porter displays for those seeking a modern, handleless style, and then a Fitzroy design which sits as a middle-ground, with a refined shaker door.
“Victoria was in charge of choosing the colours! She opted for those that had proven popular with our past customers, and colours we’d received great feedback on when visiting the Second Nature Northern Design Centre with clients. With the deep, cool Graphite, neutral Porcelain, sophisticated Dust Grey and the striking Hartforth Blue, we hope our showroom displays will cater for everyone, showing how our different ranges can create alternate kitchen looks depending on the colour choices.”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR MOST POPULAR RANGE?
“At the moment, I would have to say our most popular is the Mornington range. It’s a timeless design, with a classic feel that never looses its appeal. A lot of our customers are those who are in their ‘forever’ family homes, so they naturally want a kitchen that’s going to stand the test of time and stay current through the years as they raise their families.”
HAVE YOU ALWAYS WORKED IN THE KITCHEN AND BEDROOM INDUSTRY?
“I started out in the industry over fifteen years ago, working as part of a company to fit kitchens for new build homes and retail property- but even then I knew I wanted to one day go out on my own.
“Victoria had never been involved in the industry until we took the plunge over four years ago to start our own business. Despite my experience, I’d still say I’m learning every day, and we’ve both learnt so much over the last four years. There’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes when you run a business- there are so many admin jobs and other small tasks we didn’t even realise existed!
“We’re so glad we took the step though, and we definitely haven’t looked back. I knew I didn’t want to be fitting kitchens into my later years but I didn’t want to leave the industry I loved- so, going it alone was the best choice to make. I did spend the first few years carrying out fits myself, but now we have am amazing team at Essential that work great together, so we’re really pleased with how the company is developing.”
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE TURN TO AN INDEPENDENT BUSINESS FOR THEIR KITCHEN RENOVATION?
“We’re really passionate about supporting independent businesses. At Essential Interiors we’re a close knit team, offering a personal service that you’re just never going to get from a chain, and it’s the same for almost all independent companies.
“We believe in bending over backwards for customers, as at the end of the day we have them to thank for our success. Sometimes we’ve even returned work calls at 10 o’clock at night- but we love doing it. It’s what we’re invested in and what we’re truly passionate about, so we give our customers the service they deserve.
“A lot of the feedback we receive shows that our clients like buying local, with people saying they have received great service compared to what they have experienced with a chain supplier in the past. This is great to hear and great for our business as we get a lot of our jobs through word of mouth. You can’t buy or force popularity, you just have to let it develop as you build a good reputation.”
SO, WHEN IS THE DAY OF THE BIG LAUNCH?
“We’ll be officially opening the doors to the public on August 2nd, and celebrations will be lasting the entire weekend with refreshments and cakes! We can’t wait to finally let people see our new displays and facilities. We’ve worked so hard to get the space to the standard it is so it will be great to hear what our customers think of it.
“Everyone is welcome, so please come along if you’re in the area and you’re searching for your dream kitchen!”
SEE FOR YOURSELF
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re in the area, pop by and check out Essential Interiors’s brand new showroom, shop for your next kitchen or simply just grab a cuppa with one of their lovely team!