The owner of Rugby Fitted Kitchens, Trevor Scott, reflects on how he has fitted kitchens for several generations of the same families
In 1981, I started my first job in this industry as a kitchen designer – before that I had an admin role at Manhattan Furniture.
The company was the newly formed Eurodesign 2000 – the contracts division of the Princess group of kitchen studios in Birmingham, and one of the three agencies for Rational, covering the West Midlands and the South-West.
In a bizarre twist of fate, I had been made redundant from a bit of a dead-end job working in a plastic bag factory in Louth, Lincolnshire. How I ended up there is another story, but I had moved down to Leicester to house-share with my sister and met a bloke in the pub who happened to work for Eurodesign 2000 as its first contracts sales manager. His previous employer being the company just down the road – Manhattan Furniture.
He had just lost his driving licence and needed a driver for three months – and I needed a job. At his suggestion, I subbed his contracts kitchen designer when not driving him. I picked up contract designing very quickly and was offered a full-time job as the team’s second designer, long before the boss got his licence back.
So what’s the point of this tale?
Well, one of my first clients was Bovis Homes, for whom I designed a site of executive homes in Kenilworth. Fast-forward to 2003 and I designed and supplied the replacement kitchen for the show house for the then owners. He was, and still is, the MD of a well-known motor industry supplier.
We must have done a good job, as, a couple of years later, we also did their master bedroom and, a further couple of years on, thanks to his recommendation, we won the business of his retired predecessor and shortly thereafter that gentleman’s sister and brother-in-law.
Good going, eh? Well, it gets better.
This month, having redesigned the ex-Bovis Homes show house kitchen for the third time, we begin the installation for our old clients who have now extended the property.
All of us at RFK pride ourselves on being damned fine kitchen designers, but it’s as a business that we prosper, because it requires far more than just being good designers to be good kitchen specialists.
We order correctly, deliver when we say we will, our installers turn up when they should, do more than a good job and always with a smile. If things go awry, we put it right as quickly as possible. We project-manage each and every installation from cradle to grave and do so for a fair price.
We always go the extra mile. Because of this, we can go on a journey like the one told above – full circle through the life of a single property, the families who own it and their friends.
I can retell similar stories of whole families coming to RFK for their kitchens over the years. It is these recommendations that make our successful businesses thrive.
I wonder if my son will get to replace this kitchen in another 15 to 20 years?
I certainly hope so.