English Rose Estate Agents Ltd recently launched its new shop at Kingsway Court, in Kirkby
The business was the ambition of Julie Cotterill, 52, from Kirkby, and Jessica Blacklock, 41, from Hucknall, and started in October, 2018.
The busy mums had worked together for years, and since taking the plunge to set up their business it has since gone from strength to strength.
Julie has four grown up children and five grandchildren and Jess has three younger children.
“It was both our dream to open our own high street shop, one that looked the part,” said Julie.
"I was approaching 50 when we set up, I had thought, ‘you don’t set up a business at 50,’ but then again, I didn’t want to work for someone else having to meet targets at my age. Jess was very persuasive, and it was the best thing we ever did, it’s been absolutely fantastic.
“Starting out, money was extremely tight, but we managed to secure a little shop for minimal rent, it had two windows to allow us to display our properties, it was perfect for us at the time.
"We did say to each other ‘how on earth are we going to fill those windows with properties?’ It was quite daunting, there was just the two of us running it with the help of our families.
“We worked around the clock, steadily growing the business, with lots of ups and downs, more ups than downs, and the people of Ashfield have been amazing, supporting us along the way and being so kind. They have welcomed us with open arms.”
Before long, the women were in a position to take on a new member of staff.
Paul Rusling joined as head of finance and compliance, helping out with the banking and looking after the letting side of the business.
"He’s been such a great asset to the company and we are lucky to have him,” Julie said.
The team started to look into different avenues to bring in further business offering its own in house energy performance certificates. Paul was sent for training and is now a qualified energy assessor, and the business started to grow stronger. They soon realised they were out growing the little shop and started to look for bigger premises.
Julie added: “We did have our eye on a beautiful shop just across the road, luckily for us it came up for rent so we seized the opportunity and went for it.
“The new shop is much bigger, offering more windows to display our properties and more floor space for extra desks too. The shop is beautiful on the outside and full of history, we worked hard on the shop to get the look we had always wanted. We are so pleased with it, it’s just perfect.
“We are very pleased to announce that we have taken on another member of staff, my sister, Katrina Willetts, she only joined the team a few weeks ago and is already settling in nicely.
“We are now known as one of the leading agents in Ashfield and are going from strength to strength, continuing to offer our clients the best service possible”