There is no more fitting a place to locate a showroom for a professional interior design practice that services clients with taste than Stormont Gate House.
JTPY Design has occupied Stormont Gate House for just over a year, taking advantage of the symbolism of the grand surroundings.
JTPY provides complete design and refurbishment services ranging from freshening up a restaurant, to overseeing the refitting of a prime home.
For one client in Holywood, JTPY is in charge of the construction of a new home. “We are overseeing it from the design point of view, rather than from the architectural,” says John. Often, John explains, too much money is spent on constructing the home, leaving nothing for the style the buyer wants inside. “You can end up with a beautiful property, but have to move all your old tat back in,” he stresses.
It might seem surprising that JTPY can successfully launch a business in a recession. But, business is going so well it now has its sights set on London, Dublin and Edinburgh.
“We are coping in two ways,” says John. “We work very hard and six days a week and we have a team of five people and the clients love them.”
Some customers drop in to spend a few hundred pounds on new blinds, while others may spend hundreds of thousands to fit out their home, hotel or restaurant.
Timoney believes that as the economy recovers there will be increasing demand from the commercial sector.
Originally John wrote two business plans. The other was for a property renovation company based in London. Now that he looks back he is very happy that the figures suggested Belfast was the more lucrative option – the London proposal would probably have been disastrous. “I worked with Ulster Bank and my accountant and ran a 20% cut to all my figures to see if the plan was still viable – and it was,” he recalls.
But despite the strong trading situation, it is hard work, he insists. “We are coping in two ways,” says John. “We work very hard and six days a week. We have a team of five people and the clients love them.”
Click on www.smallbusinesscan.com to visit the network where small businesses and entrepreneurs are coming together