Founder, Janine Stone, Walpole Member
Janine Stone designs, builds, renovates and furnishes exquisite private residences around the world for the most discerning clients.
Established in 1987, the privately-owned firm is a multi-disciplinary practice that comprises over 50 professionals drawn from architecture, interior design, build and construction management. The company undertakes projects both in the UK and internationally, from the restoration of houses of historic interest and listed heritage properties to the creation of contemporary homes embracing the latest innovations in design and technology.
In order to be a successful luxury entrepreneur what are the three pieces of advice you would give?
It is important to know your client, learn and listen from the conversations you have with them, listening is key in the business of creating something that endures and is valued by your clients.
Keep abreast of the times but avoid being a slave to trends; too much is made of this today. Be passionate about what you choose to do. The passion will support you and when times are challenging, it will take you through those times and help you make the right decisions.
Keep an open mind to fresh ideas from colleagues and external influences and learn to share the successes of your business with your team, it’ll strengthen your company and it’s rewarding.
What are the most important lessons you have learned along your journey?
The speed at which digital has had an impact on my world of design and I have learned to embrace it and take the journey.
Learn to listen to your instincts, be aware of the importance of a strong balance sheet, read the small print, be focused on the detail, it’s at the core of everything we do at Janine Stone.
What are the watch outs along the way?
Turnover is vanity and profit is sanity, if you keep this at the top of your mind it will aid your decisions and keep you focused.
Don’t be in a rush to expand too fast, so many businesses fail at this first hurdle. Pace your growth and ensure you always have reserves in the bank. Pay your suppliers on time, they are an important part of your business success and a key element in your range of services to clients.
When you started out who was your biggest inspiration? And what did they tell you that helped make you a success?
My Father was one of my most important influences. He possessed great taste and judgement. I feel lucky that we were able to travel together in the early days to his clients, I learned so much from those times with him. The importance of client relationships, and your ability to take them on the journey of discovery. To manage people’s expectations, it avoids misunderstandings and helps your work run smoothly.