Thanks to our guest writer David Leech from Pelham Puppets who is working with us to put together a series of articles about the many independent traders in the town. Please use the comments below to tell us if there’s any business you’d like us to cover.
Part 1: Tylman of Stone
You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties….
….so sang Jona Lewie in May 1980. But why do people gather in the kitchen at parties? Well, for one thing, it’s usually the most interesting room to be in and where the most interesting conversations take place too. Kitchens tend to be the hub of the house….it is where people gather because it is comfortable, intimate and that’s where the food and drink is!
So, if you’re in or around Stone this Saturday, May 10th you make sure you visit Tylman’s of Stone, makers of hand made furniture and bespoke hand built kitchens, who are commemorating their first anniversary since opening their new shop and showroom in Granville Square. There’s a free glass of wine too!
Phil Tylman, (pronounced “till-man” ) runs the business which is a small family firm, said, “My father Ziggy and I run the small firm and 2014 sees us celebrating our 40 year anniversary in business. For the past 40 years we’ve been making and designing Bespoke cabinets and kitchens in our premises in Leek,” explained Phil, “My goal is to own a couple of studio’s around Staffordshire and keep providing a great quality service.”
However, there’s so much more than “just kitchens” in their shop in Stone. If you’ve not already visited the shop I strongly recommend that you do. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised to discover an extensive and varied range of items on offer from place mats to candles and from clocks to toys.
Although the new shop was actually opened on May 15th last year, Tylman’s have been trading in Stone for about 18 months having previously occupied the first floor premises,
Claire who manages the shop in Stone, explained how it all came about. “I was visiting Stone one day back in 2011 and while visiting Fleurs Tea Rooms upstairs, noticed there was retail space to let and I thought this would be an ideal location to open up a new shop and showroom. Stone is such a nice welcoming town too.”
You will receive a very warm and enthusiastic welcome from Claire upon entering the shop and of course, you are welcome to browse since there is so much to discover and see.
“We started the gift section of the shop by introducing the clocks and then added other household items that complimented our kitchen designs and furniture.”
The idea for a toy department came later, as Claire went on to explain, “I was looking for a present for my daughter to take to her friend’s party but I struggled to find anything suitable in Stone then I realised there’s an opportunity here to do something about it.”
Following a visit to the Spring Toy and Gift Trade Fair at the NEC a selection of appealing gifts and toys were added. Explaining how she made her selections, Claire said, “Holly, my nine year old daughter played a very important role in helping to select what toys to include from the catalogues I picked up at the trade fair. For example, I probably wouldn’t have chosen the ‘Top Model’ range of items myself, but these have turned out to be very popular.” Holly proved that any “switched on” toy retailer simply needs to ask a child if they want to know what toys to select for their shop!
There are toys for boys too of course and the ‘boys toys’ were selected by Phil which include Swamp Monsters, Meccano sets and Make Your Own Plane kits. There are other items that appeal to both girls and boys of course including many unique traditional toys.
When asked what’s it like being an independent retailer in Stone, Claire was very optimistic and felt the future for the business was looking good based on the success of the first year of trading. “The Farmer’s Market has a very positive affect on business,” she said, “ It brings people in from out of town as well as many locals and the Food and Drink Festival is also fantastic for us too. It would be good to have a greater variety of independent shops in town of course, but the various events and festivals held in town do work for us.” she said.
Claire and Phil work hard to arrange activities and events that will encourage people to come into town on a regular basis. “I try to make sure we have attractive window displays that I change every two to three weeks. I like to create themed displays and highlight new products and we arrange various activities like the ‘Design and Colour an Egg’ competition that we ran alongside the Easter Egg Hunt that many of the independents shops participated in last month. At Christmas time we held an ‘Open Night’ and also opened late evenings throughout December.”
They also make use of online social media and have a Face Book page where all the latest products, kitchen designs and interactive events are highlighted. For example the Competition pictures and winners were featured last month and of course, details of the first Anniversary Open Day are on their Face Book page too.
So, why not join in the “party” this Saturday and discover for yourself what hidden gems can be found in the town in Tylman’s kitchen showroom. After all, like being in the kitchen at a party, it’s a very interesting shop to be in and like the hub of a house it’s where the most interesting conversations take place and, this Saturday it’s also where an anniversary glass of wine can be found too!
Tylman Of Stone
2a Granville Square
Tel: 01785 748117
Open daily 9.30 to 4.30 and Saturday until 5pm (Closed Sunday)