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Kitchen manufacturer, Interiors by Design has tools for growth

A significant investment in machinery and support from the Business Gateway Growth Hub is helping kitchen and bedroom manufacturer, Interiors by Design fight back in difficult trading conditions. The independent, Wigston-based company is taking advantage of support available to build resilience and grow, despite rising rents, rates and all other costs.

Interiors by Design is led by directors Mohammed Essajee and Simon Colebourne. They first met when Simon and his dad Neil, who were kitchen fitters for MFI, would come in for supplies from Mohammed’s family DIY shop. When MFI closed, they approached Mohammed to set up a kitchen design and installation business at his prime high-street location. Though it started small, with a tiny showroom above the DIY shop, Interiors by Design has since expanded into the premises next door. They’ve also gone from a small workshop in Carlisle Street in Leicester to a bigger space in South Wigston with new machinery.

Today they design, manufacture and install kitchens and bedrooms as well as supply to other showrooms, fitters and house builders, giving them both retail and trade business.

Mohammed said: “Things were ticking along but we got to the stage in 2020 when we said we needed to go for it. But everything at the workshop was being done by hand. It was restricting our growth and limiting capacity.”

Mohammed got back in touch with the Business Gateway who had supported him in the past.

“I spoke to Business Adviser Joanna Moore about grants and at the time there was a growth grant* available. With Jo’s help, we were successfully awarded £25,000 towards the purchase of a vertical CNC machine and an edge bander. Our total investment was over £90,000.

“The new machinery is more accurate; we’re saving time and it has improved efficiency.

“Whereas in the past we’d complete one or two kitchens a week, now we can do four or five, probably more. It’s a matter of generating more business now. Jo’s also helping with a three-year plan and has put us in touch with high growth specialist, Stuart Ross to take us to the next level.”

Staff numbers have gone from three to seven, including Mohammed’s wife Tasneem who oversees social media marketing. The business is looking to take on another person for the workshop and a site manager.

Like many small businesses right now, Mohammed and the team have been focusing on where they are, what they are selling and buying and checking their margins are right. They also face competition from larger firms that can offer interest-free finance. However, Mohammed is optimistic about the future. “From the design stage to manufacturing to installation we have control along the whole process. Not many independent businesses manufacture as we do.

“I’ve been given all the additional tools I need by the Business Gateway. It’s not just the grant, it’s the courses, the advice, the peer2peer sessions. Having these guys on board saying you’ve done this, but you could have done this, or you should be doing this… it’s been a like breath of fresh air.”

Joanna Moore added: “Despite current economic challenges Interiors by Design has ambitions to keep growing. They are a great example of a business that has taken advantage of the Business Gateway by using our services as and when needed. We’ve worked together on the financial side including cash flow forecasting, particularly important right now.”

For a free and impartial business review from the Business Gateway call 0116 366 8487, complete an enquiry form or email

*This grant has now been fully allocated and is closed for applications.

(Images by Beth Walsh Photography.)

Top right: From Left Mohammed Essajee with his sales team Lewis Richardson and Frances Lockett, together with Business Gateway Adviser Joanna Moore in their Wigston high street showroom

L to R Directors Simon Colebourne and Mohammed Essajee with Business Gateway Adviser Joanna Moore in front of their new vertical CNC machine at the workshop.

Two men a woman standing in workshop in from of vertical CNC machine

Mohammed Essajee and Joanna Moore in the Interiors By Design showroom

Man and women looking at kitchen tiles

Mohammed, Jo and Simon next to the edge bander machine

Three people standing by edge bander machine

Team member Gerard Halpine in the workshop

man with goggles cutting wood in workshop