A STOBSWOOD mum with an eye for a bargain has launched her own high street business selling second-hand chic.
Shari Kelly got the idea for The Refurbished Furniture Company after necessity forced her to make her living selling classy old items on online auction sites.
But now she has gone a step further than just re-selling old classics.
With the practical help of her paint-stripping husband, Mrs Kelly is giving her hand-picked items a stylish new lease of life.
She said: “Lots of people these days are counting their pennies and they appreciate the quality and workmanship that went into older furniture that you’d pay a fortune for if it was brand new.
“Plus there’s a danger that your neighbours have bought exactly the same thing.
“I specialise in lovingly restoring and refurbishing quality furniture – mostly solid wood. It’s unique, it’s good quality and it’s cheaper than buying new or even antiques.”
Her new showroom shop on North Seaton Road in Newbiggin is also a bit of a recycled classic, having once been an old petrol station.
After doing lots of market research on her business idea, Mrs Kelly got expert help from business start-up support organisation Go Wansbeck to fine tune the details.
Enterprise coach Graeme Trotter, a Morpeth resident, not only helped make her dream a reality, he also gave her tips on business skills such as marketing.
“Shari’s furniture is fabulous and she’s really got what it takes to run a great business,” he said.
“She used to work in the banking sector and more recently in a solicitor’s office but this is where her heart is really at.
“All she needed was a little bit of help and advice to get it off the ground.”
Go Wansbeck’s expert business advisors are able to help people thinking about setting up a business and those ready to start one, as well as those who want to expand their firm into Wansbeck.
In some cases they provide entrepreneurs with access to support funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
For more information, including the areas covered by the organisation, telephone 01670 842888 or visit www.gowansbeck.com