Meet the families in business in the Cotswolds
PUBLISHED: 09:22 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 15 January 2019
From bespoke interiors to flooring and furnishing, construction and waste management to financial planning, we speak to six great Cotswold businesses with family values at their heart
Aaron Newell – Managing Director
Unit 18 Neptune, Business Centre, Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham, GL51 9FB
Winnens has been a family run business since 1929. From their furnishing manufacturing days, they have come a long way. Now the main focus is carpets and flooring for the home and commercial sector, as well as furnishings, curtains and blinds.
Who or what inspires you? I take a lot of inspiration from the mountains, when I am there I find it clears my mind which then gives me fresh ideas. Their natural beauty takes your breath away and if we can put just a little of that into people’s home decor I think we have done a good job.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? “Eating a frog for breakfast”. If you have something unpleasant to deal with get it boxed off first thing. That way your mind is clear to get on with the rest of the day.
What does the future have in store for you? Possibly another store and developing an online side to the business. Online sales of boxed flooring products, furniture and changes to the website to allow better customer interaction.
Alan Smith – Company Director
Alkerton Court, Eastington, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, GL10 3AQ
Smith’s (Gloucester) Ltd is one of the largest Construction and Waste Management companies in the South West. Established in 1982, Smiths has grown from a single owner-operated Plant Hire company to a multifaceted group with family values still firmly at the heart of each project undertaken.
Who or what inspires you? You have to have your own internal drive to do well and good people around you to do the same. Self-belief is important and I strongly believe if you enjoy what you do and work hard, you can achieve just about anything.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? Do not hold back and keep moving forward. I was once told that “a business will never stand still it will only go forwards or backwards”. We also stand by our motto “love a lot, trust a few but always paddle your own canoe”.
What does the future have in store for you? The future looks promising for us. All of my family have come to work within the business with their own ideas to drive Smiths on. Innovation is important to us and we are constantly looking for ways to become more efficient and extend the services that we offer.
Martin Falshaw & Emma Wilson Copp – Owners/Directors/Husband & Wife
3 New Street, Painswick, Stroud GL6 6XH
Town & Country Financial Planning Ltd is a firm of Independent Financial Advisers set up by husband and wife, Martin and Emma Falshaw (nee Wilson-Copp) in 2010. What sets them apart from other financial planning practices? Three key attributes: independence, family-to-family focus and the people within the business.
Who or what inspires you? My grandad often quoted the proverb “clogs to clogs in 3 generations”. Our ambition is to help as many families as possible to preserve and protect their wealth, enabling them to enjoy the ‘fruits of their labour’ whilst passing more onto future generations.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”. (William Shakespeare). Integrity is your most valuable asset. Look after it as if your life depended on it. Always act with the utmost integrity and honesty.
What does the future have in store for you? Since purchasing offices in Painswick we have seen increased interest. As estate planning, pensions and investments become increasingly complex and the general public become more financially aware, we see the demand for Independent Advice. We serve the whole Cotswolds, not only Painswick, so feel free to get in touch.
Ashley Nichols – General Manager
Moreton road, Longborough, GL56 0QJ
Established in 1969, StowAg now enters its 50th year of trading as a family run business. They attain to their mission of keeping the countryside working by supplying the farming community, contractors, smallholdings and country estates, with over 12,000 products. StowAg offer free delivery within a 50-mile radius of their country store in Longborough.
Who or what inspires you? We gather our inspiration from the world around. The ever-changing rich and diverse face of farming causes us to constantly refine our product offering and services. No matter how much we grow and expand, there is always a supportive team of experts to offer the best customer service and advice.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? That our customers are always first. They are the core, the foundation on which our organisation is built. Therefore, listening to their concerns and desires, and placing them paramount in our decisions ensures we are offering the customer the very best experience.
What does the future have in store for you? As a company, we are always seeking to deliver the best quality service and product range to a new and established loyal customer base. Although rapidly expanding and adapting to market demands, such as on-line sales, reps sales and our expanding shop, we will remain a family-based, trusted company for years to follow.
Red, Ruby & Rory Paxton - Owners
Unit 4 Priory Court, Poulton, Gloucestershire, GL7 5JB
The Paxton Family founded Lower Mill Estate, near Cirencester, over 20 years ago. In 2013, The Paxtons created Habitat First Group, a development company that creates holiday home communities with a deep love for Mother Nature. Habitat First Group now also owns Silverlake in Dorset and Birchwood in Devon.
Who or what inspires you? Many of our owners live in London and they have no freedom to let go. Our mission is to reconnect families with nature and help them to make memories just like we did as kids with our parents.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? Don’t get into debt and lead by example.
What does the future have in store for you? We intend to keep expanding the quality of our estates for our residents and diversifying our offering. As our longest standing community, Lower Mill Estate is almost complete, but as with all of our estates, we will continue to ensure it is a wonderful environment, where architecture and ecology come together.
Jason & Sophie Evans – Company Directors
Unit 9, Elmsfield Industrial Estate, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5XL
Cottonwood Interiors is an award-winning family run business, based in the Cotswolds. With over three decades to perfect their craft, the small, friendly team delivers big results. Using expert knowledge and a wealth of experience, Cottonwood Interiors design and create beautiful bespoke kitchens and home interiors to suit their customer’s specifications.
Who or what inspires you? Having had a passion for carpentry from an early age, and what you can create from a beautiful piece of wood has ultimately given me the drive to fulfil my vocation in life! Our aim is to bring great design ideas to completion, fulfilling our customers needs and their inspirations.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? Jason’s great Grandfather once told him two valuable rules in carpentry and business, these were “Measure twice, cut once” and “The customer is always right” Our business adheres to these quotes everyday in the workshop and we listen to our customer requirements, keeping them coming back!
What does the future have in store for you? The future is looking bright! We have acquired new premises, our team is consistently growing and we have just been shortlisted by West Oxford Business Awards, for Small Business of the Year 2019! We are also very excited about launching our online Home Interiors shop in the spring.