I often contemplate working for myself, creating my own destiny and being able to look back and say “Wow, I did that”. After meeting Amy and Shaun, the husband and wife team behind Relish, a thriving independent lifestyle store in sleepy South Devon, I was ready to pack in the day job and follow my dreams.
Where it all began…
If you haven’t heard of this bijou interiors gem, you soon will. Following a successful first year, Amy and Shaun have been awarded the commission to style a large Georgian house and have also worked on the feel-good TV show DIY SOS. If that’s year one, their future’s looking bright.
Relish is a big idea in a small space; two shipping containers to be exact. Amy and Shaun relocated to the South Hams after a number of twists and turns flipped the life they thought they were going to have in a new direction. They didn’t let the set-backs stall their ambition. They regrouped and together decided to open a lifestyle store that combined their passion for antiques, furniture and interior style. You can’t help but be inspired by their passion and drive. I can see why after only one year the business continues to grow from strength to strength.
Retail with passion…
You’ll find Relish in the courtyard at Stokely Farm Shop, near Torcross. The doors opened in November 2017, after a remarkably quick six-week renovation of their industrial shipping container. This is testament to the drive and commitment shown at every step.
The sharp corners and industrial shell offer a raw backdrop to the rustic furniture and sumptuous fabrics found within. The retail space is used to showcase their restored furniture (this is Shaun’s domain after joining the business full time in August 2018), cushions, pottery (designed by Amy and made by a fabulous Cornish potter) and accessories. They are also using exciting materials like zinc and Venetian Plaster to create unique features and spaces.
They are conscious about what they sell, sourcing sustainable products from independent businesses across the UK where possible. Natural fabrics are key to creating a sumptuous space, so wool, linen and cloth feature heavily.
“We don’t buy anything we don’t like.”
You can feel the personal touch running through every thread at Relish, whether it’s getting to know a new customer to the colours that fill a room.
Design for life…
This is only half the picture. Amy is a trained seamstress and has worked for highly regarded designers in the South West. She now offers an interior stylist service to complement the store.
I’m slowly trying to reinvigorate my own home so I was really interested to hear how a professional goes about transforming a space. I asked Amy to share her top tips.
“Do it properly, buy the best you can afford and don’t compromise on quality. Remove everything from the room that you’re not going to keep. Start with the colour scheme and everything will flow from there. And create a mood board – it really focuses the mind and a theme will start to emerge – whether that’s a colour or a pattern.”
After only a few minutes with Amy and Shaun it was clear to see that they were both perfectionists who care deeply about the work they do – designing rooms for real people that stand the test of time.
There’s no doubt that running your own business has its ups and downs. They freely admit that there are times when they are challenged and exhausted, but sharing your love and passion wins the day every time. And these two are great ambassadors for following your dream.
If you’re looking to revamp your home or just want to visit this exciting space, head down to Stokely Farm Shop or check out the Relish website to see some of their wonderful creations.