Make a coffee, cut a slice of cake and turn to page 12!
For those outside of Surrey read the full interview here:
1. What does your business do?
Sara Prebble Design is my furniture design and restoration business in leafy Hersham Village, Surrey. I take old, tired furniture and give it a new look to suit the current style of French Shabby Chic and gustavian distressed look. Using various different colour schemes to match in with a room’s decor, I transform each piece with a unique, fresh, current and revitalised style for any home.
2. How many people do you employ?
I’m an independent furniture restorer. It’s just me.
3. What does your shop/business bring to your town?
A bespoke service offering the opportunity to breathe new life into old pieces of furniture in an environmentally friendly way.
4. What makes your business unique?
Every piece I transform is unique. Every customer’s home and style is different and they get a new love for their old furniture and they can help design the new look with me, making their piece completely unique to them and their home. It doesn’t have to be furniture either, Frames, Candle holders, basically anything wooden can be upcycled in this style.
5. What type of businesses would you like to see brought to your town?
An Art & Crafts Centre/Marketplace to showcase designers in Surrey would be a great space. There is a lot of design and craft talent in Surrey.
6. How has your business changed since you started?
The style and trends change but the techniques stay the same, I have quickly learnt that when you think you have seen every style of furniture, something surprises you.
In the future I am looking into holding workshops, people can come and have a go at doing the techniques themselves and leave the day with something they are proud of.
7. What's the best thing about owning your own business?
The creative freedom and the customer relationships I make along the way. I work with people to create/restore something they imagined for their homes and I get to meet some great people doing it.
8. How has your business been affected by the recession?
Times are hard for all businesses but if anything it has benefitted, it’s a lot more cost effective to reinvent a coffee table than to buy a new one.
9. How is the business likely to evolve over the next decade?
In the future there will be less quality pieces to work with because of a trend for easy to put together furniture. But trends change and the great thing about reinventing furniture is you can do it again and again.
10. Why have you chosen to base your business in Hersham, Surrey?
It’s as simple as this is where I live, It’s close to London and near lots of inspiration.
11. What's the strangest customer request you have had to deal with?
No strange requests but the most unique piece I have worked on is an Antique Hostess Trolley that was used as a computer table. It looked great.
12. What has been your proudest moment in business?
Getting my first customer. Building a business is hard work and it’s nice when you start to see it coming together.
13. Are critical reviews important or is word of mouth better?
Word of mouth is better but I recognise the importance of both. As I work with people for their homes I hope when they are happy with their piece, they spread the word.
14. What do you think makes your business stand out from your competitors?
The personal touch. Customers get involved with the restoration of their furniture, we discuss their ideas over a cup of tea.
15. Who is your role model in business?
Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish of NotOnTheHighStreet.com They have achieved something very unique, the perfect online market place for crafters. Reading their book is a great motivational booster.