Few could have foreseen the bumps the road ahead would hold for Alexandra Croft and Louise Rhodes when they started their home interiors company, Waverly and Reed, in 2016. With a combined 25 years experience in the sector and two years of preparing, the two felt confident as they launched to rave reviews not just from within the industry who praised the affordable collection but from customers too. Yet just three months after the official launch, the unexpected happened as Brexit was voted through and the business – which imports part of its hand made collection from Europe – had to navigate the choppy waters that followed.
Fast forward 4 years and the company was thriving, only to suffer as all businesses did, the impact of a global pandemic. But Waverly & Reed has continued to go from strength to strength, with the homeware retailer celebrating its fifth anniversary and having grown from a small local firm to a national (and as of last year international) retailer.
Louise said of the success, “it’s certainly been difficult at times but we’re immensely proud of the success of Waverly & Reed since we launched five years ago. We have gone from just the two of us to a team of 15 permanent staff plus seasonal help, having recently moved into new offices and expanded into Germany, France and Spain”.
Waverly & Reed has carved out a niche in the market, much in the same way that national retailers Homesense and Dunelm have done, creating a range of quality but affordable homeware. “We had worked with some fantastic retailers over the years with some beautiful pieces, but the reality is that a lot of people don’t have 2,000 to spend on a console table, but also don’t want to furnish their whole house with cheap, flat pack furniture. We try to bridge that gap.” said Alexandra.
Asked where they see Waverly & Reed in five years time, Louise was unequivocal in her response, “We have had a fantastic response from our expansion into European markets and through our existing partnerships in the UK we are seeing significant growth. Customers seem to be really responding to our offering and we have developed a really loyal customer base. Hopefully in five years we will have that same customer base but keep growing it”.
It’s always great to see Manchester businesses like Waverly & Reed doing so well and making their mark on a national stage and Louise confirmed they had celebrated the five year milestone in true Manchester style, “well to be honest I can’t remember too much of the party!”.
Company website: https://wrhome.co.uk/
Company Address: Peter House, Oxford St, Manchester M1 5AN