It started as a side hustle. Rob was working in the furniture industry and developed a specialisation with slab timber. That led to some extra weekend work making unique furniture to sell at the famous Paddington Markets in Sydney, and when demand quickly took over supply, Rob and Jess decided to set up Loughlin Furniture full time in 2009.
“The side hustle was great for exploring our love for quality design and personalising individual pieces of solid timber. When we realised we had a support base right here in our home town, we jumped in with both feet and set up the business,” said Rob.
Jess joined the venture and together they manage all elements of the business, including the construction, supply, shop and remote sales, marketing and communications and the commercial requirements.
In the early days, Rob attended a Robson Partners U-Factor Business Coaching Session and it sparked some ideas for finance, accounting and business management solutions. They then joined with Chartered Accountants, Cassie Kennedy and Troy Marchant for support with ongoing accounting and strategic demands.
“Troy and Cassie are one step ahead of any potential problems and our strategy and planning meetings are excellent!” said Jess.
In addition to the business demands, they somehow manage family life and they frequently engage the local community. Earlier this year they donated some furniture to a local organisation 'take 3 for the sea' for the headquarters at Long Jetty, and they open their doors to local high school excursions and talk to them in groups about small business training, and some of the risks and sacrifices that come with the gig.
Sales are strong for Loughlin Furniture and the focus for them now is to establish a premises that can accommodate that growth, while maintaining the same level of enjoyment and satisfaction they feel now. What a perfect space for a pair of business owners to be.