Lockdown drives success for designer sisters

Sophie and Abbie Schofield, founders of Ribble Valley Bathrooms

Lancashire-based designers Abbie and Sophie Schofield have seen demand for their services increase four fold over 2020.

The entrepreneurial sisters, who founded luxury bathroom design studio and showroom Ribble Valley Bathrooms in 2018, said they worried about the impact of the lockdown on the relatively young business.

However but switching to an online model and reorganising the the showroom side as an appointment service the firm has actually seen sales increase by 320% compared to the same period last year..

Sophie Schofield, co-founder and head of design at Ribble Valley Bathrooms, said: “With the nation spending such an increased amount of time at home this year, it is perhaps not surprising that they have turned their attention inwards to how they can make tweaks and changes to their living space for increased wellbeing – or perhaps completing jobs that they had been previously been putting off.

“Many of our customers have told us that this year they have reassessed how they use their homes, what spaces are most important to them and how design can really enhance and uplift their personal space. Bathrooms are such a versatile room – they can become a complete sanctuary, a spa-like escape – or they can make bold design statements with standout tiling, colour palettes, fixtures and fittings. We love helping people bring their own visions to life and some of the bathrooms that we have transformed this year have been truly remarkable.”

The sisters founded Ribble Valley Bathrooms after noticing a gap in the local market for a luxury bathroom showroom and design studio. With a 35 year family heritage in the plumbing industry, entering the traditional male dominated sector is not something that either ever anticipated. However they have carved out a niche in the region – combining a flair for cutting edge design with an unrivalled knowledge of Europe’s most iconic bathroom brands.

Co-founder, Abbie Schofield added: “This year has been unprecedented in so many ways. We’re grateful that we have been able to sustain and grow our business through such a difficult time.

“Looking forward, our ambition is to grow and expand the business throughout the north. With uncertainty around the property market and wider economy we’ll be taking things one step at a time, however we are confident in our belief that the value and service that we can offer, in contrast to the discount ecommerce model, will continue to be a crucial USP and something people in this region value greatly.”