Ross Buck & Paul BardenFrom Bathroom Installers to Showroom Owners
With over 20 years’ experience as bathroom installers, Ross Buck and his business partner Paul Barden used their extensive industry knowledge to transition into the world of bathroom retail by opening up their very own Ripples showroom.
Both Ross and Paul had forged successful careers in bathroom installation, setting up their own installation business serving the south of the UK. However, two decades of backbreaking work finally caught up with the pair and with a dream to grow their business into a full bathroom redesign service, a Ripples franchise provided the perfect solution for making the move.
Starting A New Business
Born and bred in Essex, Ross and Paul were confident that Chelmsford would offer the ideal client base for a Ripples franchise and would allow them to tap into their huge network of local contacts acquired over the past 20 years. The chosen showroom location, situated in the heart of Chelmsford city centre, is surrounded by an array of high-end jewellers and a flagship John Lewis store, making it the perfect spot to attract the discerning bathroom buyer. Using their extensive knowledge of the local Chelmsford client, Ross and Paul set to work creating a showroom to inspire them, complete with fifteen unique roomset displays. From hand-painted boat baths and stylish concrete basins to brushed gold brassware and marble tiles, the showroom was designed to cater for every taste imaginable and to Ross & Paul it was essential that they laid every tile carefully between them…even if that meant working late into the evening most days.
“The support from Ripples is amazing and any questions we have, they are there to answer”.
Support With A Ripples Franchise
After months of work designing and kitting out the showroom, Ripples Chelmsford was ready to open its doors in June 2020… unfortunately, this was just as the second lock-down hit. As the pandemic continued to impact retail throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021, Ross and Paul used the time to fine-tune and refine every inch of detail in the showroom and to acquire knowledge about the processes and procedures used by Ripples franchisees. The normal Ripples six-week training plan was cut-short to just two days, meaning the team at Ripples head office had to adapt to a more hands-on approach and be flexible in the way the training was supplied.
After a long period of lockdowns and restrictions, Ripples Chelmsford was finally able to open its doors to the public on the national retail re-opening day of 12th April 2021.
“Having worked in the bathroom industry for 20 years, we understand the importance of every part of the process; from sourcing quality products and creating inspiring designs, right the way through to the final installation. We’re excited to bring our knowledge and passion for bathrooms to Chelmsford and to be doing so with the support of the Ripples family”.
However, the post-opening journey wasn’t all plain sailing for Ross & Paul. The uncertainty surrounding COVID and the ongoing demands of managing a busy installation company within the confines of government rules and regulations were tricky to navigate. It also quickly became apparent during this time that demand for Ripples bathrooms were going to be significant and soon the order pipeline was looking extremely busy.
Fortunately, Ross & Paul are both quick learners and matched by a strong worth ethic and a desire to constantly improve, they very soon understood and adopted what is more commonly known as ‘The Ripples Way.’ Ripples Chelmsford has quickly grown into a very successful business and Ross and Paul are delighted that they made the transition into showroom owners.
“The Ripples Way is a tried and tested way. I believe if you stick to that you will have a successful Ripples business.“