Words: Tivania Moodley | Images: Supplied
The idea of converting old furniture or household items into new, more modern pieces is not a recent concept. The business of ‘upcycling’ has become an interior design trend.Rachel Leigh Methley and her partner, Rickey Naidoo, established an interior design company, Rachel Leigh Interiors, to offer clients a cost-effective way to modernise their homes, without breaking the bank.
How did your business start?
I was unemployed and short on rent during a difficult time. Having studied interior decorating my only option was to paint technique my late grandmother’s heirloom, ball and claw display cabinet, and sell it to survive financially. To my partner’s amazement the unit was sold within three days, so he invested whatever savings he had into the opening of my business as he saw the potential.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
We operate from the Pineville Junction in Pinetown which is great because we live in this area. It’s perfectly situated right in the middle of all of our clients, from Hillcrest to Salt Rock.
How did you find your premises?
I upcycled some furniture for my cousin who opened a coffee shop in Pineville Junction and from the day I saw the coffee shop, I knew that this exact shop will be my premises one day, so when the opportunity arose to take over the lease, I jumped at it.
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
The space is ideal for all my wallpaper and fabric samples, as well as decor items to sell. The beautiful balcony half the way around serves as a perfect space to paint and upcycle furniture.
Who are your neighbours?
There are a hair salon, fishing shop, pub and computer store.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
The price is extremely affordable, which was the main attraction for me.
How many people go through your store each day?
During the week I see between three and five clients as I work by appointment. I am open on Saturday mornings from 9am until 12pm where I have a steady flow of clients.
Do you have any expansion plans?
I hope to provide a service of complete home improvement as I have a vested interest with my partner now on board.
Do you operate online as well?
I have an active Facebook page for now.
What’s your most popular item?
Definitely the paintwork on kitchens. I repaint kitchens, saving clients time and money. My wallpapers are also very popular.
Rachel Leigh Interiors
084 895 7068