"Taking the reins": Sisters to take over family business after parents who set up in 1987 make lockdown decision

Entrepreneurial sisters from Leeds are set to take the reins of their family flooring business for the first time - after their parents made the decision to step down due to a lockdown epiphany.

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 4:45 am

Rob and Gina Bradburn founded Bramley-based Carpet Corner in 1987 as youngsters before going on to make it an incredible success.

The business offers a large selection of carpets, vinyl, laminate and luxury vinyl tile flooring.

Rob - one of nine siblings from Rodley - has created a huge loyal customer base across West Leeds and beyond, with older customers returning with their own children in recent years.

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Charlotte Jones, 36, (l) and Heather Bradburn, 33 (r) at Carpet Corner
Charlotte Jones, 36, (l) and Heather Bradburn, 33 (r) at Carpet Corner

Almost 35 years later, the couple - aged 63 and 62 respectively - made the huge decision to step back from the business following their first ever break from working during lockdown.

Their daughters Charlotte Jones, 36, and Heather Bradburn, 33, are now set to 'fulfil their destiny' to take over the business and continue the amazing legacy their parents have created.

Heather has given up her job at a solicitors firm in Leeds to join her sister Charlotte, who has worked full time at the shop in recent years to prepare for this time.

Speaking to the YEP, the sisters said they knew deep down that they would one day take on the ownership of the business and drive it into the future.

Gina Bradburn, 62 (l), and Rob Bradburn, 63, (r) who founded the business

Heather said: "We are ready to continue the family legacy.

"It has always been the plan that this would happen one day.

"Lockdown has allowed my parents to have their first break from working in almost 35 years.

"It is a new challenge and we can't wait to get started.

"I know they have made the right decision for them and we are so excited."

Heather said her parents founded the business shortly after getting married in their late 20's.

The business has moved premises three times before settling in their largest shop to date on Stanningley Road, Bramley.

Both Rob and Gina are very popular and well known in the area.

Charlotte told the YEP she believed it was a tough decision for her dad to hand over the business after so long.

She added: "Stepping back from something you have worked so hard for and built up over the years must be difficult.

"I think before lockdown, it was a case of 'but what would we do with our time?'

"They have realised they enjoyed the extended break and having their own time.

"The time has come for us to continue what they started."

Heather worked in HR at Walker Morris LLP in Leeds city centre for nearly 15 years.

However, she recently left the role to assist her sister in the day to day running of Carpet Corner.

Heather added: "It has been a steep learning curve for me.

"I absolutely loved my job but this was always going to be the plan, it was going to happen one day.

"We are the next generation.

"I want to be able to trust our judgement and know that the decision was the right one."

Charlotte said the discussion about taking over was a "proud moment" for the pair.

She said their family were extremely close - which would help in the next 12 months of learning the ropes.

Charlotte added: "We are fulfilling our parents' wishes.

"Our dad has a vast amount of knowledge and we will still be learning from him going forward.

"He knows anything and everything."

The pair believe they will "thrive" working together.

Heather said: "We get on really really well.

"I find the things boring that she loves and vice versa.

"As we have got older, I can't think of a cross word or argument we have had.

"I think we will thrive."

The business now employs four other people - with one currently undergoing an apprenticeship and another who successfully completed his apprenticeship with the business three years ago.

Charlotte said this is something she hoped would continue in the future.

She added: "It has worked so well.

"We have three experienced fitters who help the apprentices and show them the ropes, and they will do the same when they complete the course as well.

"It is something we will definitely carry on."

The sisters are now looking to the future success of Carpet Corner.

Heather said: "We are looking to push the advertising and social media side and have ideas in terms of stock and making more space.

"We might also look to sell more furniture.

"We can't wait."