Welcome to The Finishing Room

Ok, I think I’ve kept you in suspense for long enough so here it is……… fan fare please……. the new name for my business is……..

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As I’m sure you can imagine, choosing a new name was a difficult process, but in some ways this one was gifted to me by my new location and it just felt so right.

The space that I now occupy is a listed building that once housed workers who would inscribe geometric designs onto the blown glass before it would be acid etched – the space was one of a number of ‘Finishing Rooms’ that existed on the site. Fast forward to 2017 and you’ll find me in the same space working on the finishing touches to your home interior.

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My new workshop as it was in the 1800’s

The look and feel for my new branding is intentionally bold, clean and simple. It was important for me that it felt different to my previous branding, I wanted to feel like it was a real step forward.

The new space enables me to do so much more; I have space for an interiors retail shop, space to work, space to consult on your next upholstery project and at a later date, space to run a few workshops too. All of these things will sit well with my new name.

What do you think?

I’m on track to open my doors to the public for the first time over the Bank Holiday weekend which also coincides with the 2017 British Glass Biennale so there will be a lot to see both here at The Red House Cone and also at the nearby Ruskin Glass centre. Why not come down and say hi? I’d love to show you the new space!

The What Patch??

I’ve decided that it’s probably a good thing that I don’t have children because I’m not sure I’d like the responsibility of giving them a name. I like making the kind of decisions that can be changed at a later date if required, or decisions where there’s little consequence attached to getting it wrong like should I have a Chocolate Digestive or a Bourbon Cream with my coffee – because they’re both winning choices, right?

Having to choose a name for your business is definitely not easy. You have to think about so many things! Does it represent what you do? Does it represent where you want to go? Does it work online? Will people understand it? Can people spell it? Does someone else already have it? The list goes on……

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I still love this branding but the name just isn’t working

A few months ago I came to the tough realisation that I was no longer ‘feeling’ my business name. The Cantin Patch started as the name of this blog and it seemed natural at the time that my business would also take the same moniker. Cantin is an old Black country word that means ‘chatting’ so the name translated roughly as ‘a place to rest and chat’. This seemed great for the blog but also for an upholstery business. It was quirky, it was local and my friend Hannah did a fabulous job of creating a whole branding concept around it which I still love now, but the name has been causing me issues.

“Did you say Camtim?”

“No, Cantin”

“Counting?”

“No, Cantin, like tin can but the other way around”

“Oh! Cantin!”

You get the picture. Apart from the fact that people often don’t know what I’m saying, there’s also something about the name that doesn’t sit with where I want to go. My work and interest is increasingly based on mid-century furniture and current interior trends. The Cantin Patch is far better suited to antiques, upcycling and traditional craft fairs…… and this isn’t an area that I’m looking to move toward.

So I made a decision. Seeing as I was about to move to a new location why not take this opportunity to change my name too?

Of course there are risks in doing this, but if I’ve learned anything over the last few years it’s that you also need to consider the risks of NOT doing this. In real terms it’s still early days for my business so the risks of keeping a name I didn’t like were certainly greater than making the change.

The last couple of months have been filled with conversation about what my new name might be and it’s not been an easy decision to make – I don’t want to change my name again so this one has to work!! There have been a few contenders on the table but one clear winner. I’ve been sitting with it for a month now and I like it as much now as I did when it first came up. I think that’s a good sign.

I’m going to keep you in suspense for a little longer (but not too long!) as I don’t just want to tell you the name, I want to show you the new brand in all its glory! It’s a few days off yet, so watch this space…

 

 

On the Move

About 9 months ago my workshop buddy, Dean and I noticed a pair of surveyors measuring up the building that we occupy. We thought we should ask a few questions. it turned out that our workshop and the rest of the victorian factory buildings around us were in the process of being sold off by our landlords to housing developers who have been desperate to build on the site for years. But what about our workshop??

We were told that the deal wasn’t imminent and that we would likely have 18 months before we needed to go, but in the last few months more and more of the units have become vacant and Dean and I are almost the last men standing. Now, not being a fan of a last-minute panic I decided to start looking for a new workshop location and it wasn’t long before an interesting opportunity presented itself.

Stourbridge is famed for glass and crystal with production dating back to the 1600’s and peaking in the 19th Century. So why am I giving you this whistle stop history lesson? Well it’s all to do with a local landmark – the Red House Cone. Stourbridge is home to only known complete glass blowing cone, a massive brick built chimney containing furnaces where the glass blowers would work in sweltering heat. The location of many a school trip in my childhood, the cone is now a visitor centre and museum ……. but more importantly home to a variety of local makers, artisans and crafts people. Oh, and if you hadn’t already guessed it, it’ll be my new home by the end of today too!

 

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There’s no missing this local landmark (so I’ll be easy to find!!)

I’ve been fortunate enough to secure a great workshop in one of the listed factory buildings, the space where they used to quality control and check all of the glass once it had been blown. It’s a much bigger space than I currently have which means that I might even start running a few workshops in the near future. Even better is that it’s open to the public, so I can have a shop space as well as a workshop space – I’m so excited!!

Inside, the space is a very simple victorian warehouse with white painted brick walls and bare floorboards – the perfect backdrop for modern interior goodies and beautifully upholstered chairs. It’s going to take a few weeks to get set up, but I’m aiming for my first ‘open house’ at the end of August – you should come and say hi!

So it’s all change for the Cantin’ Patch, which brings me to my next piece of news……….. (but you’ll have to wait for that)

P.S. Give me a shout if you’re feeling strong this week – my sewing machines need moving and they’re REALLY heavy!