Helen Johnson, 26, worked in the family-owned Wear Valley Decorating Centre in Coundon during childhood before flying the nest to study at Lancaster University and then work at Jaguar Land Rover as a senior buyer.
Eight years later, Helen has returned to the area to oversee the retail outlet in County Durham and has ambitious plans to grow the business. She will be embarking on a recruitment drive to strengthen its customer service team and introducing an e-commerce website to develop the retailer’s online presence.
Helen comes from a high-profile entrepreneurial family with founder of Crafter’s Companion Sara Davies as her sister. Wear Valley Decorating Centre already supplies trade accounts as well as consumers but Helen is looking forward to the challenge of taking the business to the next level.
She said: “This is a very exciting time not only for the future of the business but also as a family. As we introduce more products and services, we’ll be looking to expand our team to meet customer demand.
“By investing in an online store to support our traditional retail presence, we will reach more customers and provide a user-friendly experience to shop online and get inspiration for decorating projects.”
Since the takeover, Helen has introduced some operational changes such as extended opening hours and additional trade services to enhance the centre’s offering.
Helen continued: “After helping my mum and dad in the business when I was younger and working for an established brand such as Jaguar Land Rover, I feel I have a real, hands-on understanding of the company and how we can expand as an organisation.
“It’s wonderful to be living and working back in the North East, and I’m incredibly proud to be running our decorating centre.”
To celebrate the company’s 30 years of trading, Helen has planned a series of offers and events to thank customers for their loyal support.
Wear Valley Decorating Centre provides a large range of paints, wallpapers and supplies to trade and retail customers. The centre is open six days a week including late night on a Thursday and all day on Saturday.
For further information please visit: www.wearvalleydecor.co.uk