Part 6: The Home and Colour Centre
It was in 1932 on July 30th, that Walt Disney’s “Flowers and Trees” became the first cartoon film to use three-strip Technicolor offering audiences something they had never seen before: a bright and vivid animated fantasy world filled with dream-like colours.
Jump forward 52 years to the day, July 30th 1984 and The Home and Colour Centre first opened their doors in Stone High Street offering “dream like colours” for people to brighten their homes, offices and living spaces.
Throughout recorded history, humans have always had the desire to decorate their homes. Colour in our surroundings can renew our lives, it changes the way we feel and live. In modern times, we don’t think twice about painting the interior or exterior of a house. Like many consumer products, house paint has gone through countless changes since its inception. Yet its primary purpose has remained the same, to add colour and joy to our everyday lives.
The Home and Colour Centre is a family run business owned and run by David and Paulette Wright who first came to Stone in 1982 following the sale of the three successful and well established hardware stores they had taken over from their parents in Wolverhampton. Stone and the surrounding area appealed to them greatly as they sought a place away from the hustle and bustle of life in a city and a better environment to raise their young son Matthew.
Their Home and Colour Centre began by supplying decorating materials, wallpapers and Dulux paints including colour mixing and now offers a vast range of items from DIY equipment and supplies to household necessities and all the accessories that make a house a home, from carpets and vinyl flooring to cooking utensils and adhesives and glues to bathroom and bedroom furniture.
Today as they approach their 30th anniversary the Home and Colour Centre is a combination of their former business and the result of new ideas that they have developed over the years. “When my parents started the business in July 1984, they decide the emphasis would be on colour, co-ordination and accessories,” explained Matthew, who began working in the shop fifteen years ago, “and that combination proved very successful.”
At the time there was a lot of competition from multiples and other established family retailers and to many people it may have seemed it was a poor idea to open such a business. But these facts didn’t put David and Paulette off and when the ideal opportunity presented itself in the form of newly built premises, (where Dutton’s Shop previously stood,) they fitted it out and within a few years had well and truly established themselves in Stone High Street.
“We didn’t realise the business would go so well, “Paulette said, “Had we known, we would have opened it earlier.”
The success of the business is due to their down to earth business sense and by identifying new openings and opportunities. Places like B&Q had an initial impact on sales for a time, but gradually people got wise and price wise and realised that independent traders are able to offer individual personal service and value for money too.
“One thing led to another,” explained Matt, “ When we started selling curtains and soft furnishings, people began asking for made to measure and since mother could sew, she began offering a custom made personal service.”
The same thing happened when they began stocking vertical blinds – in order to meet exact customer requirements, Matthew began offering custom made to measure blinds too. “You can’t get more ‘totally local’ than that can you?” he asked.
But that’s not all. They offer a free community service for local groups, selling tickets for local shows and events, including the Stone Revellers Musical Theatre Group and other local events and festivals.
Over the years they have become well acquainted with the area and have relied mainly on word of mouth and have built up a reputation for good quality and service, “People like to know who they are dealing with” David said, “So we have always made sure we can offer good knowledgeable customer service. Customers need to know you are reliable in every sense.”
More recently David and Paulette have taken a step back from the day to day running of the business and only work three days a week with Matt taking on more responsibility for the running of the store. He is very ably assisted by Suzanne Norish who came to help out “for a couple of weeks” five years ago and now works three days a week Mondays to Wednesdays.
The Home and Colour Centre is one of the High Street’s larger stores and it is only possible to relate a fraction of the goods and services on offer in this article, but if you want to find quality products for around the home, once again, one of our ‘Hidden Gems of Stone’ pride themselves in supplying quality products at affordable prices, as Matthew said, “If we can save you money, we will.”
The Home and Colour Centre
65 High Street,
Tel: 01785 817307