How one couple paddled their own canoe into interior design

Furnish & Fettle has gone from strength to strength since opening in 2016.
Furnish & Fettle has gone from strength to strength since opening in 2016.
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‘We genuinely didn’t think in the first two years we would have two showrooms and be on national television’

When Glyn and Eleanor Goddard met as students at agricultural college they didn’t imagine that one marriage and two children later they would be running a successful interior design business.

Furnish & Fettle has appeared on national TV in Channel 5's Harrogate: A Great Yorkshire Christmas.

Furnish & Fettle has appeared on national TV in Channel 5's Harrogate: A Great Yorkshire Christmas.

Back in 2016 the couple were both working corporate jobs – Glyn in FMCG and Eleanor in medical devices.

However, when the opportunity to buy established interior design company James Brindley in Wetherby arose they saw an opportunity to embrace a long-held passion.

They decided to ‘escape the rat race’ and, working alongside the existing expert team, rebranded as Furnish & Fettle.

“Glyn and I always had a real passion for property and interiors,” says Eleanor.

“We were disillusioned with our corporate careers and wanted to paddle our own canoe, doing something we love which is helping people to create their dream homes”

“When we had the chance to buy James Brindley it was the perfect opportunity because the team knew what they were doing and we were really confident in the service we could provide.”

She described their first two years of business as a ‘real rollercoaster’.

On the day they officially took over the Wetherby showroom the Brexit referendum results were announced.

Just six months later the couple were offered the chance to buy the Harrogate part of the business which was previously sold to someone else – an opportunity to reunite the original James Brindley design team which Eleanor says they couldn’t pass up.

Another couple of months later Furnish & Fettle was given the opportunity to appear on Channel 5’s Harrogate: A Great Yorkshire Christmas.

“We genuinely didn’t think in the first two years we would have two showrooms and be on national television,” says Eleanor.

The couple also had to adapt to working together for the first time.

“We have done a lot property development and that is similar to running a business in that you are making decisions and sorting things out,” says Eleanor.

“But we always had our own individual careers alongside that. It has not been without its challenges but it has been fun.”

Throughout their first two years Eleanor and Glyn have been struck by the support from other local businesses, customers and their expanding design team.

But for Eleanor the best part is getting to see customers thrilled with their redesigned homes.

“Obviously I love going into people’s homes and seeing them when they are complete, that’s the real thrill to it,” she says.

“It is wonderful when you have someone who doesn’t really know where to start and then they come out of it with a beautiful home they are really happy with, that is something I don’t think I will ever get tired of.”

Eleanor says while sometimes their role is to push people away from the straight and narrow and be a little more adventurous, the most important thing is that each customer is happy with the final product.

“Homes are really important, they are where families spend all their time and they are where memories are made.

“It is a very personal thing to be involved in and it feels like quite a privilege.”

She believes her love of interior design stemmed from her first Saturday job at Laura Ashley.

“Textiles and fabrics have always been my passion.”

Eleanor’s enthusiasm is matched by Furnish & Fettle’s team of seven experienced interior designers.

“We are passionate about what we do. Everybody in the business is doing something they really love.”

She says this is just one reason why people shouldn’t be nervous about consulting an interior designer – despite some common misconceptions.

“We are really aware that people can see interior design as something only footballers’ wives do and it can be quite intimidating thinking you are going to have a diva coming into your home and bossing you around,” she says.

“We are just not like that, we are really practical people, we are really friendly and working with any of our team can be part of the fun.

“Lots of our customers become firm friends and keep in touch. That is really important, the relationship we build with people.”

As to what the future holds, Eleanor says they are always open to new opportunities.

For now, the couple’s main priorities are keeping the family-feel of the business, ensuring it is a great place to work and becoming a success throughout Yorkshire.

Eleanor also hopes Furnish & Fettle will inspire their two children, Ollie and Hattie to pursue their own dreams.

“That was part of our motivation for wanting a business,” she says.

“We wanted the children to realise you have to work in life.”

“It also gives them experience in dealing with people, during the summer holidays they have been in the showroom meeting customers and the staff. I think it does them good.”

However, despite helping to make envelopes from wallpaper samples this summer, Eleanor jokes that neither Ollie or Hattie have shown a burning desire to join the family business just yet.

Furnish & Fettle is an approachable, friendly, interior design service delivered by experienced experts.

For more information visit furnishandfettle.co.uk. To speak to a designer call the Wetherby showroom on 01937 581451 or the Harrogate showroom on 01423 560757.