just because i love : Saturday Spotlight

Published in just because i love, Saturday 15 September 2012 There are times when I come across someone who is so inspiring and positive it makes me sit back and take stock of my life and what I moan about. James King, founder and owner of Oliver James Garden Rooms, is one of those people. Today on Saturday Spotlight, I’m talking to James about business success, the Paralympics, how the Government could kick-start the economy and the avocado-coloured bidet of our times! How did you go from starting out as a brickie’s labourer to becoming the founder and owner of a successful business? After leaving school, I completed my apprenticeship and successfully obtained my City & Guilds. Then at the age of 21, after experiencing problems with my vision, I was diagnosed with an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, which began to affect my peripheral vision. At the time of my diagnosis, I discovered that the mantra, ‘work smarter, not harder’ meant that I could use my strategic and negotiation abilities to employ my colleagues on the building site to work with me. I realised that my strengths lay in my organisational skills and creativity. Less than six years later, I was employing 100 bricklayers and 20 scaffolders. Eureka moment With my eye condition worsening however, I knew that I needed to re-evaluate what I wanted from life. I eventually took some time out from work and away from the pressure of running three companies to think about the future. On a cold winter’s day, following a break from the industry, I had what I call my ‘Eureka moment’. I...

Keeping The Customer Happy: Sofa Stories

Published in Garden and Hardware News, Friday 19 October 2012 Two of my favourite anecdotes about the customer experience come courtesy of the humble sofa. A while back, I’d ordered a new sofa from a well-known, high street retailer. The first thing the delivery driver said to me as I opened the door was, ‘Sorry it’s not the right van. We can come back another day if you’d like’. I wasn’t sure what he was alluding to, so I confirmed the most crucial pieces of info. Yes, he did have my sofa and yes – he had got the correct address. After the sofa had been installed and the delivery guy was about to take his leave, I asked him what he meant about the ‘right van’. ‘Oh’, he replied, ‘We’re in an unbranded van today’. Still none the wiser, I pushed him further… ‘Well, I was just checking because some of our customers will send us away if we don’t come in the right van. They want one with the shop’s name and logo on it. It’s an important part of the whole thing. They want the neighbours to see they’re not buying any old rubbish!’ And that puts me in mind of another recent sofa experience. I like to go to a famous Michelin-starred restaurant when time (and funds!) allow. On my last visit, I watched a guest vacate a particularly comfy sofa. As if from nowhere, a member of staff appeared to plump the cushions in a most distinctive way. I stopped to ask her about it. She said she’d actually been trained in the art of...

International Design and Architecture Awards 2012

Published on International Design and Architecture Awards Name: James King, Oliver James Garden Rooms Position within company: Founder and Owner Website: www.OliverJamesGardenRooms.co.uk   What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms? It’s all about designing for the longer term, not ‘here today, gone tomorrow’. Longevity is the watchword of the moment. People are conscious of functionality. Residential design needs to fit in with lifestyle and life stage, whilst naturally making the most of what’s available in terms of the existing property. What are the key influencing elements at present? In the 1980s it was all about how many bedrooms you had, but now it’s about effective use of space rather than if you’ve got a utility room or a separate dining room. Cost and practicality are important in the current economic climate. People are deciding to stay put in their homes for a considerably longer period of time than in previous years. It’s not just about bolting on stuff to a home, it’s now about the ‘flow’ of a property and using every spare bit of space in the best way possible. Our clients want to combine rooms seamlessly and be able to open their homes out into the garden. What sort of projects are you working on at the moment? I’m working with homeowners that don’t want to move, but need more from their existing properties. It might be those with growing families that need more space, or empty nesters who want to entertain whilst downsizing their property. We’ve got some fantastically exciting projects on the go, working with clients who want real living space...
Garden Room Extension Milton Keynes, Garden Room Extension Watford, Garden Room Extension Oxford, Garden Room Extension Buckingham, Garden Room Extension Aylesbury, Garden Room Extension Bedford, Garden Room Extension High Wycombe, Garden Room Extension St Albans, Garden Room Extension Banbury, Garden Room Extension Northampton