People in Business : Diane Berry
The Cheshire Magazine profiles some of the region’s biggest names in business
Diane Berry - Managing Director, Diane Berry Kitchens Ltd
Since opening Diane Berry Kitchens in 2002 with a team of just three, the company has grown an enviable reputation for design and won multiple awards including an international design award.
What led you into your industry?
My father introduced me to this industry- fortunately for me he could see my potential and convinced me to join his business as his apprentice with the enticement of driving lessons and a car. I was only sixteen and I have to confess the car was so much more exciting than the kitchens.
Who was an early business inspiration for you?
So many people and things have inspired me, but a lot of the inspiration to run my own business has come from working for people who didn’t run a business fairly or well. That made me determined to do it for myself and better than they did. I believe in treating my team and my clients with respect.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
You are only as good as your last job. I’ve met so many kitchen designers that don’t move forward with their design work and it just starts to look stale. So, I work hard always to be one step ahead and visit lots of European Interiors Exhibitions to search out fresh inspiration and bring it back for my clients.
What’s the secret of great leadership?
Lead by example, I like to be hands-on and not scared of rolling my sleeves up when necessary. I look for attention to detail in every aspect of the kitchen business and now all my team do too. They care about what our clients need, and we take the time to ensure every small detail is checked and double checked. It has to be the best we can do every time.
What’s the most significant leadership lesson you’ve learnt?
Years ago, when I had a team building meeting and everyone had to write down their dream car, it never crossed my mind that someone would choose a basic family estate car. That was a light bulb moment for me, and I realised that we all have different ambitions. It is essential to recognise the people in your team that want more and at the same time, the people in your team who prefer security and a steady income.
Has there been a truly pivotal moment for your business?
Yes, when a client I had never met face-to-face chose me to do their kitchen in Barbados. It was on the Green Monkey Golf Course in a stunning property and they wanted us because of our reputation. I know that I have been designing kitchens for thirty nine years, but it took a stranger having complete trust without us meeting to make me realise that all my hard work had paid off. The icing on the cake was that after the project was complete, they paid for my husband and me to stay at Sandy Lane in a beautiful suite and met us for dinner. I felt like the celebrity!
Which areas of your business will you focus on in 2019?
This year we are moving to bigger premises, so all the focus in the second half of the year will be on the design and fit out of the interior, the builders are well on with the exterior, roof and windows. This investment into our own, larger property will allow us to increase our team of designers. We are bursting at the seams in our current building and the expansion of Diane Berry Kitchens is super exciting.
Diane Berry Kitchens Ltd
132 Bury New Road, Manchester, M25 0AA
t: 0161 798 5335 e: firstname.lastname@example.org