Charles Wilson Carpets, where 'flooring's not boring!' have been in business for 40 years and are about to expand upstairs at 39 Hermitage Road by adding a dedicated hard flooring showroom leaving room for a wider range of carpets in the downstairs showroom. Headed up by brothers Adam and Mark Wilson and Helen (Adams wife), we thought it would be nice to meet the 'people behind the business'.
1. What do you love most about your job? (Adam)The variety and meeting people, you never know what the next customer will be like
2. Your claim to fame? (Helen) Aged 5 I helped my Mum when delivering Avon to Martin Shaw. No wonder I have a fixation on Judge John Deed!
3. What sort of training did you have before going into business? (Adam)Paper round, milk round beating and working at sainsburys – was told if I wanted anything I had to work for it
(Helen) I did many years of retailing diplomas with WH Smith, then trained for accountancy doing the AAT qualification.
4. What advice would you give someone who wants to set up their own business? (Helen)
• Plan well and remember to give things time, nothing happens over night
• Do your market research carefully – don’t assume you know what your customers will want
• Use government and local bodies for as much information as possible i.e. HMRC courses, Business Link
• Be prepared to work half days (which 12 hours of the day is up to you!) Enjoy the stress of it – sounds mad but the buzz can be great
5. The one local business you couldn’t possibly live without? (Adam)Taste buds – Charlton’s rolls are fantastic!
(Helen) The Bucklersbury Clinic (Shiatsu) – Janine is the only person who can chill me out and fix my aches and pains
6. Hindsight is a wonderful thing – what one thing would you do differently? (Adam) Wish I’d joined army from school they have great opportunities for travel and doing silly things outside!
(Helen)To be honest I would have trained in Horticulture, I love nothing better than messing around with plants.
7. How have things changed for your business over the past 40 years? (Adam) The Variety of what is available. When I started we sold carpet and occasionally vinyl. Now we’re selling carpet, vinyl, Vinyl tiles, Laminate, Wood, Rugs, Rubber and sisal – the choice is phenomenal.
8. What is the greatest challenge in running a business as a family? (Helen) Remembering to treat each other as family as well as work colleagues, it’s very hard to switch off and not talk business to each other out side of work hours.
9. Who is the most interesting person you have met? (Adam)Brian Blessed – has such a zest for life
Pop into the shop and meet Mark, Adam and Helen in person! They can be found at the top of Hermitage Road or visit them online on facebook by clicking here or give them a call on 01462 759762