Home' Border Enterprise : Autumn-Winter 2011 Contents 7
Vol 4. Autumn/Winter
Owners: Veronica and Eric Thompson
DESCRIBE your business/how did
Blooms Furniture and Giftware
has been in business in Albury
for almost 20 years, initially under
the banner of Blooms Country Store. "Eric had
been making a few items for the previous owner
and she kept asking if we would like to buy
the business as it would be a great outlet for
his hand-made furniture," Veronica said. "After
some soul searching, a lot of research and
undertaking a business course we purchased
the business in 1996.
"Two years ago we changed the name to give
a truer indication of the nature of the business.
Our aim for the shop is to have unique items for
all occasions and a range of quality furniture.
"Eric has been making furniture full time since
1995 and has had three apprentices in that
time and other workmen and work experience
students. The furniture can be purchased from
the floor or made to order by Eric and his Red
"Our motto is 'wander and discover'."
How long have you worked together?
"We have been married for 40 years this
September and have been in business together
for nearly 15 years."
How do you complement each other/what
are your particular skills?
"I run the shop with a loyal team of employees
and do most of the buying with a little help
from Eric. Eric makes the furniture at Red Bluff
workshop and also helps out in the shop.
"I rarely go into the workshop though,"
Veronica ruefully added.
What are the advantages of working together?
"Being able to discuss and do things at any
time has its advantages. We can't complain
about not seeing each other like a lot of other
couples who are busy with their individual work."
What, if anything, is the downside?
"We are not always able to have time off
together. Also, the shop is never far from our
minds as we are continually thinking of ways to
How do you keep business and family life
"The first few years we drove our friends and
family mad with talk of 'the shop'. Now friends
and family ask us how the shop is going. We
have learnt over time even that though the shop
takes up a good part of our life together, 'shop
talk' can be boring to others and it isn't the only
thing we do."
What are your tips for continuing success?
"Hard work! Having fun along the way
and doing things away from the business are
also vital. We make sure we look after our
customers and we are always on the lookout for
new stock and ideas. A loyal and reliable staff is
Where will you be in 10 years?
"I will be 60 years old and, God willing, I will
be fit and well and probably retired," Veronica
said. "Hopefully, I will be catching up on the
many projects in the sewing room, enjoying
the garden and being able to get away to see
our grandchildren whenever I want. "I expect
Eric will be enjoying gardening on the farm but
still have a keen interest in his shed, probably
restoring furniture. And of course there will be
the odd bit of travel for the both of us."
Would you recommend family partnerships
"Yes, it has been good for us. The business
has made me do things I didn't know I could
do. With me mostly in the shop and Eric in the
workshop we are not in each other's pockets.
It was more testing when we travelled around
Australia for two years in a caravan when the
kids were aged six, four and two. "We have
met some very interesting and wonderful
people through the business including other
business people, staff, customers and suppliers.
"When the time comes to leave I know I will miss
'the shop' and all that goes with it."
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