Profile of a local person from the business community. Trish Worthy is joint managing director of Hillside Interiors in Canterbury.
Where were you born?
I was born in Liverpool and educated by nuns at Bellerive Convent Grammar School for Girls.
Where do you live now?
We live in the beautiful valley of Loose, near Maidstone. The children grew up in Kent and we have Lily, our Red Setter.
Hillside Interiors was started in 1999. We design, manufacture and install fitted bedrooms, sliding door wardrobes and home offices in Rochester. I design from our studio is in Lenleys, Canterbury’s leading furniture store.
What are the most significant changes have you made to the business in the last three years?
I would say the most significant change we as a company have made in the last three years was moving to Lenleys from Nasons in Wincheap in 2010. We were established there for ten years but wanted more space to introduce new ranges and, at that time, I was concerned that the possible Wincheap redevelopment plans would have caused a major upheaval to our business. I approached Lenleys for space, they recognised the benefits to their business that Hillside Interiors could bring, so we built the new studio there. Moving a business premises is quite a risk and a big expenditure but we believe the change been a good business decision. I design across Kent and Canterbury is a great base for the business.
What’s the biggest growth area in new business coming your way?
We have always fitted sliding door wardrobes although recently the contemporary glass designs have generated more interest in them, not only as excellent storage but as an interior design statement.
Is there a business area that you’re developing that you didn’t expect?
Home Office is a growing market as more people work from home and want a dedicated work area that looks good too. The industry behind our business is always responding to current tastes and fashion with new door styles, colours and glass allowing us to continue to design for classic and contemporary customers.
What do you anticipate will be the most important business area going forward?
Moving to the other side of Canterbury brought Hillside Interiors to the St Dunstan’s area. This has been a great opportunity to join the businesses in the Roper Road area to tackle the current economic climate by forming a consortium to promote the mainly independent businesses here. Within this area Canterbury has a quality two-storey furniture store, a bathroom studio, a kitchen studio, a fitted-bedroom studio, a carpets and flooring specialist, a wood burner and stove supplier, we sell blinds, shutters and curtains and tiles. The last few months we have worked hard to create Roper Place – Canterbury’s interior design quarter. We anticipate this will be the most important step going forward to secure the businesses, expertise and employment here in Canterbury.
Why Canterbury for your business?
Working with the local business community we have liaised with Canterbury City Council and Canterbury City Partnership and found them very keen to get behind the Roper Place initiative. We all need to work hard to consolidate business within Canterbury, keeping it a vibrant place to live and work in. Within Roper Place we offer a wonderful choice of home products with people trained and, more importantly, prepared to share their knowledge. I have been involved with the whole branding project from the historical research, logo design and the launch and it has been very enjoyable from handing out balloons during the Christmas Lights Switch On to helping to judge the Roper Place Design Awards.
How do you unwind?
I love my garden and walking Lily, I am English Heritage member and any excuse to get to see live music – pub bands, rock concerts – suits me.
What is the most frequently used number in your little black book?
I don’t have a little black book but my family and friends are on speed dial.