In the latest in our series of companies based at Warwick Mill we take a look at family run business Smallwood Interiors who have a long history
Before there was a business centre, before there were the meeting rooms, in fact before there was anything else at Warwick Mill, there was Smallwood!
When Simtor bought the mill, none of the workshop units were in a lettable standard. The first to become available and to be occupied was Unit 2 South Mill. Now occupied by Solarlec but at that time it became home to Smallwood Interiors, the family run company owned by Lee Smallwood.
The company had been started by Lee’s father who started by making one off commissions of furniture and then kitchens. Today they work mainly in Kitchens and Bedrooms although less on the manufacturing side of the business. Instead Lee has a network of companies that he works with to deliver a range of looks, styles and at different price points.
Being a family run firm, providing the personal touch is important to them. A large percentage of their business is repeat business. “I get calls out of the blue from clients maybe 15 or 20 years after we’ve fitted their kitchen saying that they are looking to revamp it”. The personal service means that they can provide a range of services from measure to design, supply only to a full project management and fitting service.
“Over the years, there’s been an increase in clients looking to revamp their kitchens but not completely replace. We’re happy to provide new handles, or a few new doors to clients, basically we provide a very flexible service” says Lee. With a new fitted kitchen costing anything from £4,000 to £32,000 depending on the specifications requested it means that the business supplies at all ends of the financial spectrum.
“With kitchens especially it is no less a competitive market but we’ve changed and adapted. We now have a showroom again” he says surveying the first floor kitchen and bedroom layouts that can be seen in the main mill units. I’ll be spending an increasing time on site so that clients can see the full ranges that we have, although I am more than happy to take samples for them to see in their own homes”. This will be joined later in the year by developments with working with the trade directly as well as an upgraded website.
By his own admission social media is not his thing. “I want to spend less time on the computer and more time on my bike” said Lee. With scores of past clients giving repeat business that might not be happening just yet Lee!