Pebzz caught up with Gavin, co-director of Quarters of Sussex, to discuss their bespoke build service for kennel and garden rooms.
1) How and when did your business start and what is your business goal for the next 1-3 years?
Our company started in March 2016 after we had decided to get a dog. Milo the Skye Terrier came in to our lives and changed it forever! My wife Mimmi, who is our companies other Director, asked me to design and build a kennel for Milo. She wanted one to sit beautifully at home in our cottage that was both stylish and sturdy. Having recently sold up my shares from my previous company, I had, for the first time in a while, the time to do it! The result was quite special and it kick started the idea to provide a bespoke build service for Homes and Gardens for Pets.
Our goal for the next 3 years is to establish our name and reputation Nationwide. We want everyone to know what we do and how well we do it. And we want to be pivotal in making the kennel a feature in thousands of homes. With 54 million dogs in the UK we want to have a Quarters of Sussex kennel for as many as possible
2) What is your background and experience that lead you into starting this particular business?
As a qualified mechanical engineer many years ago I went in to the building trade for some time, but success in this area did not lend itself to free up time for my creative, artistic and building skills. With some market research on our new idea we realised we could fill a gap in the pet market. Mimmi worked for a decade involved with London's top luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren, Prada, Calvin Klein and Catherine Walker. Her understanding of bespoke luxury and experience with trends for homes and gardens has been invaluable.
3) How are you different from other service providers in your field? What is your unique selling point (USP)
Our USP is we regard our kennels and build projects as furniture pieces for your pets that will provide a stunning addition to a customer's home or garden. After two years in business we are still the only company doing what we do. Dogs are part of the family now and are treated to those special gifts but there is still a place for working dogs needing kennels. We have created sturdy kennels that work well and are also beautiful to look at. We can also go that extra mile by adding additional features like underfloor heating, insulation and matching roof materials to compliment a home.
4) What has been your greatest lesson in business? Biggest mistake?
The greatest lesson in business I have is to try and do something you love. Spend time with people that make you feel good and who treat you with respect. Treat everyone with respect in return. Treat people you work with well and reward them for their loyalty and hard work. Attention to detail and small personal touches make each customer feel as special and as important as they are. My biggest mistake is not moving on from my previous directorship earlier. I have so much I want to do with QUARTERS of SUSSEX and I am looking forward to it all.
5) How can small businesses make themselves successful?
The benefit of being a small business is there is scope for so much more interaction with current and future customers on a one to one basis. Let this work in your favour and make every potential customer see the passion in everything you do. They will feel special and will look forward to working with you as your relationship builds to a sale. They will want to be part of it and will enjoy the experience so much more. They will remember you and the chances of repeat business and referrals will be increased. Ensure you work to your strengths though without losing touch of what your good at.
6) How long have you worked in the pet or animal industry?
Getting Milo in 2014 kick started everything. We started working in the pet industry at our first trade show at the South of England show in the spring of 2016. This was where we realised we were on to something special. The reaction we got was phenomenal.
7) How important is animal welfare to you, considering the unique nature of your product and services?
Any decent person is horrified by abuse to animals. Then when you actually get a pet or dog you see how special they really are. When this dynamic becomes part of your life you then take an interest in animal welfare and you start to understand the world can be a very cruel place, especially for animals. We exhibit at Crufts each year and we hold fund raising raffles with kennels as a prize each time. We choose a different charity each year and do our best to spread the awareness. 8) Do you have any exciting new products coming to market or that you are working on?
We have a really exciting development this year that involves combining our luxury garden room builds with kennels. We are now offering a complete build service to existing companies or new companies that want a stunning garden office or extension that includes a range of matching integral kennels for the business.
We have dog groomers and dog spa companies that have seen the connection and asked us to design projects that will enable all groomed dogs to be safely tucked away after their pampering, in a cosy kennel that actually looks like part of the build as apposed to a metal cage in a corner. We are offering a complimentary out door kennel to any of these customers that will match the chosen build style.
9) What are you most proud of at 'QUARTERS of SUSSEX Ltd'?
We are proud of so many things. Proud to be doing what we love for one. Most importantly we really enjoy what we do and we are proud of every single project that we make. If it is a garden room or any type of kennel feature, big or small, we enjoy the customer seeing the end result the most. It's all about a sense of pride when you hand over your end result.
10) Do you have any pets of your own? If so, what do you have?
As mentioned before, yes, and we can't thank Milo our Skye Terrier enough for what he inadvertently did for us . He quite literally was the catalyst for everything that happened. Without him we would not be here doing what we do, it is as simple as that. He is amazing and we love him dearly. THANK YOU MILO. X
You can contact Gavin, Mimmi and Milo at:
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out their excellent reviews at https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/quartersofsussex.co.uk