Combining stylish accessories with professional interior design is a new venture for an enterprising trio hard at work in the village of Old Cantley.
Running her own retail outlet is something of a departure for Cheryl Fraser who is more used to horses and stables than selling distinctive home accessories. But the busy career woman is already enjoying the challenge as well as the chance to take off her Wellington boots from time to time.
Stepping inside the shop with its eye-catching displays and unusual products is indeed a far cry from the workings of the nearby livery yard which Cheryl also runs. And the premises are a fitting place for her to do business and follow in the footsteps of her father Colin Read who operated the site as a garage for 40 years.
Cheryl’s early memories of the building include helping out in the family firm by polishing cars but her latest duties are somewhat different. With the help of her husband Craig, an experienced joiner, and interior designer Karl Pacey, she has created an outlet where quality and choice are evident.
From unusual decorative clocks, mirrors and lamps to vases, ornaments and jewellery boxes, the range is designed to appeal to shoppers with an eye for style and individuality.
A propeller-shaped letter opener, a snoozing hedgehog ornament and a colourful array of quirky German-designed accessories - sold by only two outlets in the UK - are among the varied objects for sale.
While deliberately uncluttered, the shop offers plenty to see plus a host of catalogues to browse for inspiration. “We’ve all chosen different things and hope that people will like them,” said Cheryl who describes the business as something long considered but not expected to happen.
In fact they only seized the opportunity a short time ago when the building became vacant. They transformed it in a matter of weeks, working through the night in the run-up to the shop opening in December.
“It was a bit manic at first because we gutted the place but there’s been a lot of interest and we’ve been busier than we expected for the time of year,” explained Cheryl.
Another key feature of Fraser Read Interiors is its highly personal consultation and design service with strong emphasis on customer care and craftsmanship.
Craig, who has a Retford-based joinery firm, has travelled extensively to fulfil commercial contracts and previously spent years restoring such high-class cars as Aston Martins and Ferraris. He is delighted to now be working close to home with talented professionals intent on “giving people what they want.”
“Providing a service to local people is what I want to do and I’ve always loved working with real wood to produce individual investment pieces,” he explained. “We make items exactly to fit so it’s never a case of having to make do with whatever size or style is generally manufactured,” he added.
Involving clients in the in-depth design and production process is a priority for Craig, 46, who meets them weekly during each project and is happy to welcome people to his workshop to see their items being made.
During his years in the industry, he has built up a network of expert and reliable professional contacts including Karl whose extensive interior design work has included contracts for such famous names as Laura Ashley.
Able to transform individual rooms or entire properties, Karl said listening to customers was crucial. “We can suggest ideas to help people achieve what they want but we won’t impose our views. It’s their home after all and that’s what matters,” he explained.
With the advantage of high-tech software to produce 3D visuals, customers can see just how the end result will look and make changes if needed.
Fabrics, flooring, layout and lighting can all be included to give a detailed and accurate picture and projects are personally managed from beginning to end.
Services include building works, electrical installations, plumbing, tiling, decoration, soft furnishings, tailored kitchens and individually designed furniture.
And, when the installations are complete, customers receive a comprehensive care package with tips on how to look after their new items and maintain the natural wood.
To find out more, visit Fraser Read Interiors, Nutwell Lane, Cantley or telephone 01302 531655.