The Whanganui business fabric is both unique and colourful. We are set on a base of agricultural and industrial graft and excellence with some truly boutique and innovative entrepreneurs adding to the diversity and quality of what we offer the world.
Over the years I have helped a number of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) which do some truly amazing things and make our city special. From Lads Brewing Company to Monaghans Barbershop to Gatshack to Poppy Greeting Cards, we have some entrepreneurs who truly add value to their customers and our community.
Another such business is Rachel Brandon Designing Interiors (RBDI) which recently celebrated 10 years of business and has developed a business which not only contributes to local GDP but also makes places look fabulous.
It is great to see Rachel's brand on the apartments which will soon significantly upgrade the riverside on Taupō Quay. It will be just another example of where Rachel's eye and passion for design will significantly enhance living spaces.
She has done work for us, creating personalised bedrooms for our now "young adults" as well as significantly improving other areas of our house. The great thing being that her service is unique, professional and respectful to the spaces she works with but also easily accessible with clients here, in Rangitīkei and Manawatū but also as far away as Auckland.
Rachel and Rebecca, who joined RBDI in 2016, are at the cutting edge of design but it is more than interesting to note that this also extends to how they run their business. Life/work balance is crucially important to Rachel so the business operates four days a week and it is working well, like a number of businesses that are moving in a similar direction.
As well as innovation around work structure, RBDI is the only interior designer in Whanganui with an independent office/studio where you can access not only expertise but a great range of furniture/lighting/fabrics/wallpapers and soft furnishings. RBDI also partners with local tradespeople and, through those solid relationships built over the past 10 years, provides seamless on-site co-ordination.
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And it is a busy time with the building market responding to a need for new houses and a surge in home improvement work since Covid shut the borders. This extends from new builds to renovations and commercial projects and Rachel and Rebecca work on all of these.
And this is something which Rachel loves - seeing the mix of renovation work and new build work and helping people see their dreams come to life. Looking ahead, Rachel has plans to grow and make some strategic changes in the next 12 months, which I am privileged to be helping her with. Our work together is setting RBDI up to make the most of the next few years, as well as seeing Rachel achieve her personal goals.
Rachel recently told me that she "loves the challenge of owning my own business and pushing my own boundaries". But most of all Rachel thrives on the variety that each and every project brings - a variety which is special and specific to her successful business and the entrepreneurs who are part of our business fabric.