A YOUNG entrepreneur who set up an online furniture business a year ago has seen his idea hit the hot spot with restaurants and bars.
Joe Nicholson established J. N. Rusticus in October 2016 to source and sell unique, ethically sourced home and office furniture from around the world.
The 21-year-old has travelled to India and China to source his products which range from tables, chairs and benches, to rustic outdoor garden furniture.
The fledgling firm has proved a winner in the leisure industry with bars, bistros and cafes purchasing J. N. Rusticus furniture with Joe personally delivering each item himself.
He said: “The private domestic market is going well, but it’s the restaurant trade where things have been really exciting. The range is finding its way into bars, bistros and restaurants across the country, mainly through refits and refurbishments and there is a chain of steak houses which has taken a lot of produce.
“Through the summer, there was a lot of interest in garden furniture so I will be looking to push this range next year with specially-coated outdoor tables and chairs. The products look great and really tap into that rustic look which is very popular.”
Joe, from Sadberge near Darlington, took an apprenticeship route following A Levels rather than join many of his friends at university. His entrepreneurial streak was recognised by his dad David – boss of Billingham-based Nicholson’s Transport – who put Joe in charge of storage business Box Clever when he was just 19.
Joe added: “With my dad running a transport business, I have been involved with the industry most of my life. I knew my business idea had to have something to do with warehousing and logistics.
“I have really enjoyed the first year especially the travelling. But it’s not been without its challenges, such as securing the best quality products from the other side of the world and getting the e-commerce site looking the best it can.”
Dad David Nicholson said: “On a personal level, I’m incredibly proud of what Joe has achieved in just a year. It has really helped his confidence and his business acumen grows as each month goes by.”
“I’m really looking forward to seeing where he goes next with this business and other ideas that he has. He’s planning a showroom at Billingham with a converted 40-ft storage container with windows and doors where people can see the furniture first hand and who knows what will happen next?”
For more information, visit www.jnrusticus.com