As we celebrate our 14th Birthday in this very unusual time, we have spent time reflecting.  With this reflection time we have come up with 14 lessons that we have had to learn;


  1. Working for yourself means that you will work longer hours.

    You will work harder than ever before. Holidays will always include working. Special occasions nearly always involve you popping out of the room to take a quick phone call.  We wouldn’t change this for the world though.

  2. Being a Company Director is not as glamorous as I first thought.

    Sure some of the trips are great. The sense of pride is priceless. However, the day-to-day can be very different, especially as someone who likes to get stuck in. Plus, I hate asking people to do things I wouldn’t, or haven’t, done myself.

  3. You won’t win them all, and that it’s ok.

    For each client we work hard to make sure that we tick as many, if not all of the boxes; space planning, ergonomics, designs, product, pricing and build a strong rapport.  Sometimes this just is not achievable.  We all have our boundaries and limitations and sometimes this will mean that you will not get commissioned for every project and may not even know why.

  4. Things don’t always go to plan.

    We spend a lot of time planning, checking, double checking and logging information but with all the will in the world human error can still occur and there can always be unforeseeable circumstances.  After 14 years of varying sized projects and fighting through one of the biggest global recessions, things still come up and surprise us.  We now know that we will find good solutions and be satisfied with the end result.

  5. There is a difference between reflection and dwelling.

    This can be a tough one.  If it is something hasn’t gone quite to plan, a missed opportunity (or global pandemic 😳) it is important to reflect and see how you can learn, grow and prevent the same problems coming up again but not spend so much time and energy on dwelling and fixating.  Find your best solution and implement it.

  6. Sleeping on it makes a world of difference.

    When things do go wrong don’t rush for the conclusion.  Often the things that spring to mind in the heat of the moment are not the most effective. Taking the time to think through the situation, variables and speaking with others may take a little longer initially but saves a whole heap of time and emotion than going back to square one again.

  7. Trust.

    Trust in your systems, your employees, contractors, suppliers and so on.  Everyone has their place in the puzzle to fill, trusting them to do this is essential. Remember, you employed that person, invested in that system or chose that supplier for good reasons.

  8. There is more than one way to do things.

    I have had to learn that I can not control everything and that I have to trust the people around us to carry out the work they are contracted to do to the best of their ability.  It may not be my way but it does not mean it is the wrong way.

  9. There will always be someone ready to knock you down.

    No matter how well you are doing there will always be someone to find something they deem wrong.  This could be online trolling, a poorly timed leaflet through a door, a perception of perfection, competitor or even a frustrated client or employee.  This is a sad fact that we have had to learn to deal with.  Thankfully, this is few and far between but when it does happen, we reflect upon this to see if there is any truth in it.  If there is, learn from it, if not move on.

  10. We will never know everything.

    There is always something to learn.  It is one of the things I love about this industry. There is always a new problem to solve, a new product to learn or trend to track down.  Kitchen and home design is always evolving ensuring there is never a dull moment.

  11. Every customer makes a difference.

    As a small business every customer and every project makes a difference.  We learn so much from each and every client that entrusts us to carry out their project, and every project helps us get one step closer to being the studio, professional space and design planners and home improvements company we dream of being.

  12. Competitors can be friends.

    Just because you may win or lose business against your competitors it does not mean you must be mortal enemies.  In fact you could be friends or even help each other out professionally.  We all have our pro’s, con’s, strengths and weaknesses in the market so you will win some, and will lose some.  Why spend time feeling negative towards these businesses when you could just feel happy knowing that even though you have lost this one you may win the next.  We are all in this together and sharing the market with friends is a much nicer place to be.

  13. Always listen to feedback.

    As business owners we hear criticism loud and clear! However, you need to be sure you hear the positives, even if we’re not very good at taking compliments.  This is great for your sense of wellbeing but means that you don’t go changing the wrong things and losing your best bits and core qualities.

  14. Loving your job and working with people who you really care about is a privilege that neither of us would change for the world.

    We are so grateful for everyone who has supported and worked (put up) with us over the years.