Start-up stories: The Tap End
Tell us about your business, what does it do?
It is our unrivalled passion for creating beautiful spaces which sets us apart from other bathroom stores. For us a bathroom is not just another room; it is a space which requires careful planning, and consideration so that you can relax after a hard day at work, wash away your worries, prepare yourself for the day ahead. It is about so much more than a necessary room. It is about how form and function meet to create personal, and unique spaces that our clients will love for years to come.
What did you do before you started this business?
We both worked for an interior design company in Cardiff for 7 years, who designed and sold bathrooms but also many other items/products for other rooms in the home.
What inspired you to start up?
After working for the same company for a long period of time it was time for a change. We saw that the bathroom side of the business we worked for had the potential to hold its own if it was presented in a more inclusive way, and the target market was adapted from high end to mid end. That is when we decided we were so certain that we would prove it, alone!
How would you describe your business to your grandma?
Put simply… we love bathrooms!
Where do you get advice, support or help?
Being from the industry we had a good grasp of what it took to start up, we didn’t initially seek advice or support externally as we were capable self-starters but when we took the leap we did then get government grant support for the showroom renovation and support from Business Wales in the form of a start-up workshop. This further confirmed to us that we already had the knowledge to go it alone. Since then we have attended numerous local networking events and group and continue to do so.
Finance is one of the most common barriers to starting up. How did you access the finance you needed?
Being so certain in the venture we raised initial funds ourselves, by re-mortgaging and using savings. We then applied for a grant from the local council which we were awarded, that was to the value of £10,000.00. We were also blessed because we hit the ground running even without the showroom from day one, and traded via our kitchen table for the first few months – during which time we secured multiple projects including a development which totalled 22 bathrooms!
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Aside from securing the large development project at the very early stages of us starting up, we have also appeared in a 7-page feature in Britain’s best-selling Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathroom consumer magazine; Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms. This was unpaid and because of us being proactive contacting some journalists about our company and designs.
How do you differentiate your business from others?
We are the only showroom in RCT area to have access to several global brands, which gives us the edge on local competitors. We are also an all-woman team, which is unusual in construction based roles.
What’s it like to be your own boss?
Exciting, stressful, frightening and invigorating all at the same time!
Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
We have some short and long-term goals, we hope in 5 years we will have experienced growth and be on a second site. We have big dreams for the company, which truly started as a kitchen table startup!
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Make sure you save in the lead up to starting up, have some personal financial security behind you for peace of mind. Do plenty of research into your sector, and when you think you have enough... do more!!!
Published: 05 February 2018