The transition from student to entrepreneur is never quick and easy. Anyone who has been on that journey will tell you it has its exhilarating ups and terrifying downs. All have that moment of clarity where going it alone becomes the only option, be that through redundancy, an inspiring talk by a mentor, or simply getting fed up with a job. We spoke to Crave ID founders and Directors Adele Anderson and Lori Shelbourne who are now getting the recognition as successful entrepreneurs to see where their inspiration came from.
Tell us about the business:
“Crave ID is a Birkenhead based, commercial interior design company. Established in 2010, we have built a successful reputation by delivering both small and large interior design developments in a variety of sectors on projects for restaurants and bars, hotels, offices, healthcare, retail and residential.
Tell us about the team:
“We met at John Moores University where we both studied interior design. We both had a passion for 3D design, fashion, architecture and a flair for creativity so the decision to follow careers in interior design was an easy one. We both started to work for agencies in Liverpool and were looking forward to long, successful careers working our way up the career ladder.”
How did you come to create Crave ID?
“Unfortunately, as with many sectors, the recession of the last decade hit the architecture and interior design industries particularly hard. Both private and public organisations looked to retain a tight grip on finances and many construction projects were suspended indefinitely.”
Adele said “Lori and I were working for different firms and became casualties of the economic downturn and were made redundant. It can hit people really hard, especially, like us, when the industry you have dedicated your career to takes a serious downturn. You can either retrain or go it alone, but when we looked at it, the risks of going it alone were easily outweighed by the benefits. We both grew up in families where our parents owned and ran their own businesses so the leap to starting our own practice seemed like a perfectly sensible next step. When we look back we should have been terrified but we weren’t at all. It was tough to start with and we used every contact we had but we loved working for ourselves so we kept fighting. We felt empowered and as we had the ability to design our own futures. It wasn’t long before we realised that the way the stay afloat was to network and keep learning so that we can turn our hand to any opportunity that arises.”
What projects have you been working on recently?
“We recently worked on a number of high-profile developments for Nisha Katona at Mowgli and for Paul Askew at the Art School restaurants, both in Liverpool. These guys are absolute perfectionists in everything they do and will only accept the highest quality in design and materials. Both restaurants are very different in style and function and we love the results. These projects gave us the chance to design intimate spaces but we also recently worked with Mulbury City and M&G Estates to create a large public area for a significant Private Rental Scheme in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. We don’t advertise or do any marketing so all of our work is won through word of mouth recommendations through developers, architects and suppliers. To know that our work is being recognised and talked about is a great feeling. Especially when it crosses over into other fields.”
How are Crave different?
“We pride ourselves on being client led and keep their goals and ambitions at the forefront of the project no matter what the space is to be used for. This means we have successfully worked on projects for lots of different sectors, we treat each project as an opportunity to educate ourselves and have learned important lessons from every single one. We specialise in interpreting clients, rather than sectors and this approach has paid off as 60% of our clients come back.”
What do you most enjoy about your jobs?
Adele said, “I love the interaction with our clients, getting to know them, what they need and finding out what makes them tick. We both enjoy meeting new people and working with diverse design teams within each project.” Lori continued, “I love space planning because it is so controlled in its process with its rights and wrongs, understanding the space and its proposed use while using experience and creativity to bring it to life. To then see people enjoying our creation once it’s finished gives us a real buzz.”
Why have you chosen Wirral as your base?
“We are both from Wirral and love it here. Also, we live in a modern digital world and we don’t need to base ourselves in the city centre. People are more open-minded about us these days, we aren’t the little firm from across the river any more and our portfolio of work speaks for itself. We can also see that there is a bright future for Wirral, there’s a real buzz that it’s an up and coming place.
What is the next big thing for Crave ID?
“Recently we were nominated for a prestigious award and we are really excited. We have been shortlisted in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category at the Downtown Liverpool “Women in Business Award 2018”. The awards celebrate female entrepreneurs and business owners from across Merseyside. What makes it extra special for us is that we didn’t apply for this, we have been nominated by someone but we don’t know who it is. If you are that person and are reading this then a big thank you from both of us. Also, to be recognised as successful entrepreneurs and businesswomen in our own right, and not just interior designers is a really special feeling and makes us especially proud, the hard work has really paid off.”
If you would like to find out more about Crave ID then visit their website