The Yorkshire Times Seasonal Spotlight - Caroline Wherritt
As we prepare for the final few weeks of 2017, we grab 60 seconds with Caroline Wherritt, managing director at re:work, in this exclusive seasonal spotlight for The Yorkshire Times…
What was your primary business objective at the start of the year?
My objective at the start of the year was to successfully move premises and open a new showroom. When I say ‘successfully’, I wanted the move to run as smoothly as it could with as few hiccups as possible and without putting too much pressure on us financially. I knew it was going to be a risk, but I felt we needed to relocate in order to grow the business.
Looking back on 2017, what have been the 3 biggest highlights for re:work?
Moving premises, launching our sister brand Desk Office Interiors, and working alongside a fantastic team that has been incredibly supportive of our relocation.
What has been the most difficult challenge for your business?
The biggest challenge we have faced was financing the new showroom premises. Initially we had a very difficult decision to make – we wanted to move in order to take the business forward, but we didn’t have the funds in the bank to do this. So, did we stay where it was safe or take the risk? After much deliberation we decided that failure to progress would stagnate the company, so we took the plunge!
Name another Yorkshire firm that you think has had a great year…
Our marketing company – The Bigger Boat. They have similarly moved premises and grown the team significantly, which has also led to them securing some great new accounts – they’ve done an amazing job this year!
And one to watch in 2018?
It has to be Leeds-based Elevate, who are a great social enterprise aiming to help bring vacant properties back to life. The young business has a great team, which has really grown this year to be sustainable as well as successful.
What’s re:work’s key goal for next year?
It’s our 10th anniversary next year, so we’ll have extra reason to celebrate if the showroom is a success. I want people to come and use the space we have created to see how the office furniture market has changed.
Anything you will do differently?
There’s always something I would do differently – I tend to be my biggest critic, but I see this as a good thing. I think I would like to be more confident in my own ability. I sometimes forget that I have been running my own business for almost 10 years now, so I’ll continue to use my passion and vision to keep things moving forwards!
How do you think the regional business climate will fare?
I think there is a lot of speculation about the business climate at the moment, and I can fully appreciate the impact that certain government policies will have on some organisations. But, generally speaking, I think Yorkshire is a great place to operate! We like to buy local and I believe this is helping us to become a real powerhouse. So, I am really optimistic about the climate – businesses have dug a little deeper and kept the wheels turning.
How will your team be celebrating Christmas before the break?
We love a bit of good old competition, so it will be the annual Ten Pin Bowling Christmas tournament! I’d like to point out that I won last year, so I’m hoping to be the champion again, then we’ll have some food and a good cheer.
Describe Christmas at your house, in three words
Family Comes First!
Want to feature in The Yorkshire Times’ seasonal spotlight?
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The Yorkshire Times Seasonal Spotlight - Caroline Wherritt, 8th November 2017, 18:00 PM