Woods of Harrogate looks to the future
PUBLISHED: 00:00 31 October 2013
One of the best-loved and most respected businesses in Harrogate looks to the future. Heather Dixon reports
It is renowned as one of the finest linen shops in Europe, a place where fine service and traditional values are equalled only by the luxurious quality of its wares. Yet Woods of Harrogate – as this unique family business was known until recently - is not afraid to move with the times. Established since 1895, Woods has grown and evolved over the years to meet the changing requirements of its customers, making subtle but significant changes, not just to meet but to exceed the expectations of a local and international clientele.
Latterly Woods has undergone a subtle rebranding to distinguish the two distinct areas of its business: the beautiful fine linens and home accessories sold in the Harrogate store and also online in the Woods e-shop - and the flourishing interior design business, offering a highly personal, fully comprehensive design service for private residential homes.
The result is a change of name for the shop on Prince Albert Row to Woods Fine Linens and a clearer identity for the design business, now known as William Woods Interior Design. ‘We wanted to achieve a delicate balance - to bring the company image right up to date without compromising the traditional values and exacting standards that we and our customers hold dear,’ says William Woods, who established the design business forty years ago, drawing on his considerable experience to lead the creative team.
Under William’s watchful eye, quality remains of prime importance to both the retail and design sides of the Woods family business. Whether you are seeking the plumpest, softest most comfortable pillow that money can buy, a super-sized bath sheet in the perfect shade to complement your bathroom design or the most luxurious bedding to make bedtime a treat, Woods Fine Linens is where you will find it. Equally, if you are planning to redecorate a small intimate space or embarking upon major refurbishment, the dedicated creative team at William Woods Interior Design will guide you through every step of the process, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to service, quality and attention to detail.
Sharing her father’s passion for design, Sarah Woods, fifth generation family member, joined the family business eight years ago, working alongside William as Woods Interior Design Director. Together, William and Sarah combine their complementary talents to develop the interior design business whilst seeking out inspirational home interior products for the retail business, including beautiful fabrics and fine quality home accessories, art and furniture.
William and Sarah’s vision for design excellence is shared by their dedicated team of in-house interior designs and highly skilled craftspeople, who are able to produce hand-sewn curtains, furnishings, re-upholstery and restoration, decorative plasterwork and paint finishes, woodcarving, gilding and custom-made furniture to an exceptional quality.
Whilst Woods counts the royal family amongst its prestigious client list, Sarah’s mission is to ensure that quality - manifest in the beautiful textiles she and her father source and in the fine design service Woods offers - is accessible to everyone. ‘Whilst we are ideally equipped to undertake substantial projects, we are always happy to discuss smaller commissions which are addressed with Woods’ customary high level of care and commitment.’
‘We’re certainly not elitist,’ adds Director, Nicholas Richardson, ‘we are dedicated to sourcing and supplying quality that will endure.’ Indeed, many of the household linens Woods offers, selected for their standard of performance and long-lasting quality, are still relatively inexpensive.
Representing the new generation who will drive the Woods family business forward, Sarah believes there is more ‘world-wide potential for Woods’, but remains mindful of the need to develop at a steady pace. ‘Above all, my aim is to maintain the standards and traditions of the past combined with trends and designs of the future.’