James King – Fab Furnishings 

Our clients often use a change in their circumstances to follow their dream and turn a long-cherished hobby or interest into a thriving business. James King is a great example of turning adversity in to business success.

Following redundancy in his forties, James found himself out of work for the first time. When an advisor at Jobcentre Plus mentioned the idea of self-employment and recommended Outset’s fully funded start-up support and access to finance, James signed up straight away.

“My old job was very pressurised and stressful, and initially being made redundant was a shock. But I knew what I really wanted to do, and started making plans right away for a brighter future,” he said.

For many years, James had been restoring and up-cycling old items of furniture, turning the unfashionable and unwanted into something fresh and desirable. “I have always enjoyed refurbishing, repainting and restoring. It’s so gratifying to give something a whole new lease of life. People would come to my house and love what I had done, and said I should do it commercially – but I was running out of room for more furniture!”

James decided to join Outset’s Business Start Up programme and applied for a Government-backed Start Up Loan from Outset Finance. While learning the skills to run his business, the loan application was approved and James secured £5,000 to help him with the seed money for opening his premises and buying stock.

“I enjoyed the whole process. Putting together the business plan and the cash flow forecast was involved and time-consuming, but valuable – Outset taught me so much. The workshops were detailed and helpful; a real eye-opener.”

James is already finding that running his own business is bringing rewards and opportunities he had never anticipated: “I’m an outgoing and gregarious person and really thrive on being in the shop and talking to people. I’ve extended my range to offer keenly-priced bespoke furniture in association with a local carpenter, and am refurbishing items for Hotels and Guesthouses.”

“I’d never been self-employed before, so it could have been daunting, but the help from the teams at Outset and Outset Finance has been absolutely fantastic. In under 3 months, I have obtained funding and opened my shop. I simply could not have done it without their help!”

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