Dream Doors Bristol, a franchise of the UK's largest kitchen facelift retailer, has traded on the city's Gloucester Road since 2009. In 2013 it was taken over by Barry Payne, a seasoned home-improvement professional with a remarkable story to tell.
Barry had spent the last seven years building his own property maintenance and construction company. On a late summer's day in 2012 he was working on a customer's roof. This was an average job on an average day. The sort of job Barry had completed dozens of times before. And then he tripped, fell backwards through the scaffolding and landed on a plank several feet below.
"It was a serious accident and I ended up with a broken back," Barry says. "By then I was running our company, but still had a very hands-on approach. My doctors advised me that, while I may be able to return to such physically demanding work, it would have a negative impact on my long-term health. Fortunately my son was able to takeover the company, and it continues to trade successfully with him at the helm. I, on the other hand, had to down tools for good."
"But I refused to let that get me down; I shifted my focus and challenged myself to find another way to remain in a trade I both enjoy and understand. And that's when I discovered that Dream Doors Bristol was up for sale. The showroom hadn't fulfilled its potential and the previous owner admitted as much. It was the perfect match for me."
That under-performing franchisee gave Barry a rare opportunity to buy into an award-winning franchise at a discounted price. And the location couldn't have been better. Barry's wife Emma, a corporate lawyer, was now working from offices in Bristol, renting a flat in the city during the week and returning to their Worcestershire home at weekends. Purchasing the existing Dream Doors franchise meant the couple could work and live in the same place again.
"We still have our property in Worcestershire, but rent here in Bristol," says Barry. "We both work hard, and still don't see that much of each other, but we spend more time together than before!"
"Dream Doors is a great fit for my skill set and one that's left me excited and energised by the challenge ahead. And it has been challenging at times! But I'm relishing being back at work – and still being in charge – while also benefitting from all the support I get from Dream Doors."
Chis Robottom has rallied from a Brexit-fuelled redundancy by taking on his own kitchen makeover showroom franchise.
Changing his career direction has given Wilson Craig the chance to work alongside his family.
Selling up the family business allowed the Bachelor family to start a lucrative Dream Doors kitchen makeover franchise.
Jeremy Taylor is adapting his knowledge of selling healthcare products to selling kitchen makeovers as a Dream Doors franchisee.
David Parr was looking for a career change that offered greater earning potential.
Jaspal and Sarbjeet Hayle jumped at the chance to change career direction and take over a Dream Doors franchise.
David Ward OBE has swapped conflict zones in Europe and the Middle East for a Dream Doors kitchen showroom in the West Country.
Gary and Hayley Ashe relocated to Britain to tap into its ‘mature’ franchising market.
Former sales manager Manbir Takhar was looking for a new work opportunity when he joined Dream Doors in 2015.
Sean and Katie Hebdon have built a successful, family-run business that delivers the lifestyle they had always craved.
For Jon O’Hara opening the first Dream Doors showroom in Northern Ireland was also about finding the working freedom he was seeking.
Two childhood friends, Andy Earnshaw and Robert Wood, are topping up their pension pots by launching a Dream Doors franchise.
Focusing on top notch customer service has allowed husband and wife, Martin and Alex Smith, to build a highly profitable business.
Ex-Mailman Anthony Nolan has found a new post running a Dream Doors franchise.
A seven year conversation with Dream Doors has finally led to Eddie Shiels coming on board and taking on a showroom.
Malcolm and Jon Newnham set themselves a sales target of £300k for their first year and achieved that figure in just six months.
Dream Doors franchisee Lynn Fletcher found the working flexibility she needed by joining the UK’s #1 kitchen makeover company.
Taking on a Dream Doors franchise allowed ex-teacher Matt Jones to move back to his favourite part of the country.
Former salesman Ross Gamble moved nearly 5,000 miles to open a Dream Doors kitchen showroom.
The James family has worked together to generate over £1million in annual sales from their Dream Doors showroom in Stoke-on-Trent.
Ex-banker Jerry Innesbeer took back control of his working life by taking on a Dream Doors franchise after being made redundant.
Samiul Islam and Abdul Muktadir have surpassed their income targets in their first 18 months of running a Dream Doors franchise.
After training to be a butcher in his youth, Kevin later became a health and safety officer for a multi-national corporation, inspecting factories around the world. But, by his own admission, a love of international travel can ‘wear off’
IN JUST ten months Clive and Angela Coldwell have generated well over £1million, they attribute their success to the power of the Dream Doors brand.
Dream Doors franchisees Richard Marshall and Jamie-Louise Brewer generated over £94,000 in their first month of trade.
Joining Dream Doors has been a 'whirlwind' for David and Kate Howle of Worcester.
Mark and Rachael say that they have never felt more at home whilst working as Dream Doors Franchisees.
Lavine decided to open his own Dream Doors franchise and tells us what first attracted him to the proposition.
Matt Jones, the new owner of Dream Doors Truro, worked as a design technology teacher for 12 years before taking on a franchise.
Everything about the franchise works as it is written in the manual and, in your early days, this is important while you learn the business.Paul Reeder
If you want to work for yourself and have more flexibility, I would recommend a Dream Doors franchise. Also it’s good to know that you can run your own business, but still have the back up of a national company.Matt Jones
The training and support has been fantastic and has really reinforced the fact that we made the right decision. The initial training was really helpful and there have been plenty of visits from the Franchise Support Manager to keep us on the right path.Helen Mahon
By replacing the doors, and usually the work-surfaces and sink, a kitchen can be transformed in 2 days
The kitchen industry is booming and, as an alternative to standard kitchen companies, Dream Doors offer our customers a solution that saves time, money and hassle