Leaving Cardiff in South Wales to start a business with my Son-in-law in East Sussex over twenty five years ago was a huge decision for Pam and I at the tender age of 50 plus as we were both born and bred in Cardiff and lived there for over fifty years leaving everything including all our friends and family was a leap of faith. As it turned out my faith and belief in my son-in-law Norman Mayhew was totally justified as since I have retired he has not only built The Sussex Sign Company into one of the biggest and most successful Sign Co. in the South East but turned out not only to be a great partner but the best Son-in-law I could have ever wished for.
Like many businesses we started with very little and most of the difficult decisions at that time were whether to have beans on toast or Pot- noodle, and as in any successful business it took many years to build a client base and learn new skills. Norman had a head start on me as he had experience in running a Sign company but I had spent over twenty years as a Manager with Rank and had to start from scratch.
When I look back I must admit that I had many happy years with Rank as I loved my job but I wish we had moved down here years ago as both my Daughter and Son live close and I have three fantastic Grandsons and a Great Grandson which make these past years by far the happiest.
Starting another business albeit a small one after retirement was the last thing I thought I’d being doing but starting Lakewood Workshop is a recommendation to anyone who has just retired and it doesn’t have to be Woodturning, or a business, but it has to be something that perhaps you have always wanted to do as it gives you another reason to get up in the morning, to feel useful again and will keep you active both physically and mentally, I can’t wait to get out in my Workshop and work on a new design maybe for a bowl that a customer has asked me to make and once approved to take a rough chunk of wood and spend hours carving it on my Lathe into a beautiful Bowl but what makes it all worthwhile is having learnt a new skill and seeing the look on a customer’s face when you show them the finished object and they also pay you for it.
I mentioned in my last blog that after listening to your comments regarding the Pens I make that I would now concentrate on the top quality pens as you have pointed out people who look for pens on the web are usually looking for that special present a gift of quality and something that is unique and different, well I have been looking at some incredible designs lately and producing some of my own which has brought a wonderful response from my family who are normally my biggest critics. The patterns and colours that can be produced from materials that you would never guess are used is amazing and once I have made a whole range of Pens with these new materials to go with the Gold, Chrome, Gunmetal, Rose Gold, (and many other colours ) this combined with a whole range of superb kits I will post them on my Website www.lakewood-workshop.co.uk