Cottage industries have a habit of growing into something a lot bigger – just ask Pauline Nash.
Some 18 years ago she was juggling responsibility for raising a family with launching a new design business, Cottage Curtains. Since then the Forest of Dean business has changed its name to Calico Interiors, currently employs 17 full time members of staff and has a customer base of more than 6,000.
“The Forest of Dean has been a superb location for Calico because we’ve been able to source talented staff and run a business that is very close to major opportunities in the Midlands and West Country. Our next step is to expand our corporate business and we’re in the perfect location to target a whole series of new markets,” says Pauline.
Operating from a manufacturing headquarters and showroom in St John Street, Coleford, Calico Interiors is a leading supplier of bespoke interior design products to individuals, national house builders and the health service.
“It seems like yesterday that I took my first major step and opened a small shop premises in the village of Sling, near Coleford, with one part-timer. But through hard work and a team of dedicated staff, we’ve grown rapidly since then,” explains Pauline.
Calico Interiors offers a wide range of products including made to measure soft furnishings, wallpaper and paint to order, furniture, carpets, blinds, occasional lighting, ornaments, accessories and occasional furniture and the new range of ready made curtains and bed linens. It also operates a successful contract division supplying furnishings to many different commercial clients within the healthcare, education, leisure and show home sectors.
“Our Contract Division occupies some 60% of our workload and is certainly the element of the business that we envisage substantial growth,” adds Pauline. “We believe that our in-house, complete manufacturing and installation services are tantamount in the successful completion of commercial contracts, regardless of the sector for which we are working for.”
The business currently has ongoing contracts with Westbury Homes, Prowting Homes, Gainsborough Homes, Rosemont Homes and Kings Oak, among many others.
Recent commissions include a number of stately homes and listed buildings throughout the county, and a complex of state of the art apartments in Knightsbridge, London.