Sliderobes celebrates first year of trading on the Wirral

Two local businessmen, Ray Smallwood and Neil Paterson, are celebrating their first year in business together, since swapping very pressurised jobs in industry for running a home furnishing showroom, close to home.

Their Sliderobes showroom on the Croft Business Park in Bromborough is now very much a family concern with Neil's wife, Irene, having joined the busy team.

Neil and Ray, who met 12 years ago, whilst working for Chemdal Ltd, opened the Sliderobes showroom following a three year rollercoaster period in their lives. During that time, family life in both households was disrupted by redundancy, lack of local employment opportunities and extended periods of working away.

For Neil, who runs the showroom itself, life has never been sweeter. 'As with any owner-managed business, what you get out is in direct relation to what you put in. Irene, Ray and I have probably never worked as hard, but equally we've had a great deal of fun and the business is really taking off.'

Ray, who manages production and installation, shares his enthusiasm. 'Setting up our own business was a big commitment,' he said, 'And it wasn't something that we did lightly. Working together has been terrific, strengthened our friendship, and the support that we have received from Sliderobes has helped us cope with everything.'

The concept of craftsman-built, tailor-made bedroom storage has been well received in the area and both partners are delighted that their first year has been so very successful. Ray explained, 'Customers visiting the showroom for the first time are always very impressed with not only the stylish bedroom storage that we offer, but with the very high quality.

'We work closely with them, visiting their own homes to help them find the answer that is right for them, both in terms of what the wardrobe has to accommodate, but also what kind of look they want for their homes. It's a formula that we are finding that people love,' he said.