Today we had an invitation to celebrate the anniversary of the opening of a furniture and interior showroom near us. On face value there is perhaps nothing remarkable about that. However, anyone looking for an inspirational business story should look no further than the Country Furniture Barn in Flimwell.
When we moved to our new house just over 2 years ago, we discovered this gem, and commissioned a larder cupboard, dresser and kitchen unit from them. I didn't think anything of the fact there were half a dozen large metal shipping containers in the yard, acting as mini showrooms. It was only when I googled them I discovered the back story.
One Friday evening in October 2012 a fire started at their business. 50 firefighters spent more than 12 hours tackling the blaze, but it was razed to the ground. It was a family business, started by the father of the brother and sister then, and now, running the firm. Surveying the ashes the following Monday morning, the father announced they would be up and running again by the end of the week. The rest of the family gave up the different businesses they were running or involved in to help, and within days they were trading again. They converted a stone store-shed into the shop, and I assume soon after that the shipping containers arrived. Four years later, with the business still thriving, the new showroom was erected.
And today was fab - they had laid on a barbecue, hog roast and glasses of champagne, and the new building is incredible. Minor blip when The Bee announced loudly she'd had a lovely 'sleep' in one of the beds...I was sipping champagne on a straw bale entirely oblivious, while Grizzly was supposedly in charge.
Nevertheless, theirs is a hugely uplifting lesson in never giving up, and what people pulling together can achieve. Oh, and here's a close-up of the larder cupboard - I'm very proud of it! Country Furniture Barn Ltd