“It’s already been six months since we started this Stihl shop! We opened the business in the space Hammer Hardware used to be. It took us about a month to set up with lots of help from friends and family. We worked really hard.
Everything started about nine months ago when Tessa and I thought about opening a Stihl shop. My background was working in transport and logistics, but I had a desire to own my own business. The business management and transport skills were quite transferable, and Stihl – with its great name, products and branding – seemed like a great option.
Our shop has a lot more than people realise; we stock a really wide range of products. We have the full Stihl range of outdoor power equipment, plus we also have a service centre on site that repairs all makes and models (not only Stihl). We do Masport mowers and Honda products (including generators). We do Ziegler & Brown BBQs, and Culley’s sauces and spices. We also have garden bags, basic gardening and home tools such as locks, garden sprayers, hand tools, hoses and water pumps. We have indoor and outdoor heating, and we also do key cutting. The key cutting is really popular and something that Hammer Hardware used to do, so we just carried that on.
My family have been a big part of the business and they all work here with me on Sundays – it’s the one day we all have in the shop together. I’m loving the fact that I can come in and do everything myself and I haven’t got a boss, although I hate being late, so I always put pressure on myself to get here on time (so I still have a boss in my head somewhere!).
I am trying to expand the range into some basic hardware and tools, but at the moment I’m making people aware we are here and what we sell. I love the business community here; it’s really close. I can see that the locals in Howick are very loyal and they like to shop in the Village. It’s great we’ve been able to give them additional options for convenient, local shopping.”