Today we’re catching up with Julia Walton from J. Walton Restoration who we first met in July 2013 and then again in August 2014. I’ve been really enjoying watching her Facebook page for the last couple of years, seeing the amazing furniture restoration jobs she’s completed. When I asked Julia in 2014 where she wanted to be now, she replied, “I’m really not sure. Permanent workshop space is an issue and I think that’s something I need to look at, however relocation back to the north of England is niggling away at the back of my mind, we’ll see,” and indeed she did relocate this year – read on to find out how things are going and a special news flash at the end.
Hello, Julia! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
I’ve just jumped off the deep end into the unknown and left my workshop and clients behind to move to be closer to family. Over the past month I’ve been relocating, cruising my narrow boat up from West London to Yorkshire. I didn’t know if we’d have the confidence to do it but it’s been part of the long-term plan for a while.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
The location is completely different, and that will bring with it a change in clients. It’s VERY early days though as I have yet to even find a workshop.* I’ll be looking for the same sort of work, though I might need to look a little further up here as I’ve had to leave my best contact and the work he supplied behind.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
On the work front, I don’t know, but on a personal note, it would be how much I enjoy cruising the canals. I live on a narrow boat and that’s how we’ve travelled north. We’ve lived aboard our boat for 3 years but never cruised for so long. Waking up in your own bed each morning but somewhere new is a real experience, I love it.
Any more hints and tips for people?
At this stage I”d hesitate to encourage people to take the plunge and relocate without a safety net, ask again in a years time and we’ll see whether I’ve sunk or swum!
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Hopefully I’ll have set up my workshop and begun building clients and confidence in the new area.
* STOP PRESS Julia got in touch just before I published this update to report that J. Walton Restoration is now located in Exchange Mill, Elland, located just 5 minutes from J24 of the M62. The area as far as clients are concerned is around Huddersfield, Brighouse, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, perhaps Leeds. West Yorkshire in general.
It’s all so exciting – and fancy relocating via living on a narrow boat – I think Julia’s the only one of my interviewees to live in such an exciting home! Best of luck to Julia as she re-establishes herself and her company in Elland and we’ll look forward to catching up with her newt year. Do follow J. Walton Restoration on Facebook to see all the lovely projects she’s been engaged in.
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