11:49am Tuesday 14th May 2013
MARTIN Couchie set up Style Flooring in Heworth at the beginning of the recession.
Having worked in the furniture industry for about 30 years, he had made good contacts and knew tradespeople he could trust.
He says: “I had always hoped to do it in the fullness of time. I had had enough of doing all the hard work for other people. I wanted to do it for myself.”
He said finding premises was the challenging part. But starting up turned out to be even more complicated than that, when the water company had to dig up and close the road in front of his shop before his first Christmas in business, affecting one of his busiest periods. “I think I’ve nearly recovered,” he says, “It has been hard but we have grown year on year. And the nicest part is that our customers recommend us and people send their family and friends to us. It says I’m doing something right.”
The shop now employs four people and eight contractors.
Martin, who lives in Selby, said he had worked most of his working life in York.
“I count it as my city,” he said. “I always head more to York than Leeds or Doncaster. I love the city.
“It’s one of the most beautiful in the country, if not the world.”
What job would you like to have other than your own and why?
I recently found out that an uncle of mine used to have a vineyard in France and that might have tempted me into a different career/lifestyle.
I have to say opening my own business at the start of the downturn and still growing my business mainly by recommendations and giving employment to my team.
What makes you most angry?
Double discounts, extra percentages, and all that type of guff. Oh, and cyclists without lights.
Although I am pleased to have worked for both large and small companies and have learned a lot from both types of business, I wish I had started my own business sooner.
What do you need to make life complete?
Good company and a glass of red wine.
Why do you make a difference?
I am interested in my customers' needs and want to be in a position to solve their problems. We tend to be one of the last parts of the project so I like to create a wow finish.
There goes an honest man.
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