Owner of Arabesque Sam Shendi cites business relationships are more important than being purely money driven
Arabeque is based on the high street in Silsden, a village on the outskirts of Keighley in West Yorkshire.
The kitchen showroom displays three of its best-selling kitchen doors, handpainted Shaker, handleless and a gloss design, along with a selection of accessories.
It looks like many other kitchen showrooms on the surface, but when you meet business owner Sam Shendi, you appreciate that his story is as independent as his business.
Art and design
Born un Egypt, Sam studied art at university and experienced success as an animator, a fashion designer and an interior designer in his 20s in Egypt.
He has worked in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom design, in the UK, since 2003.
Initially he worked as a self-employed designer and in 2008 he bought the showroom in Silsden and named in Arabesque.
Although he sells bathrooms and bedrooms, the business is predominately based on kitchen sales, with an average order value of £18,000.
Sam and his wife are the only employees of the business and he personally designs all the kitchens with all his business through recommendations.
Arabesque pays the mortgage and covers his cost of living, which affords him the time for his passion – to be a sculptor of very large, individual pieces.
Confidence with customers
Sam’s confidence in his talent and design ability is infectious and his different outlook on life is reflected in his business: “I tell my customers they are not always right in their ideas for a new kitchen.
“I am creative and I design great kitchens and at Arabesque we offer a great service for a reasonable price.
“I give each project my personal and undivided attention and oversee the complete project.
“I work with a great team of installers that cover all aspects of the fit from electrical work through to the decoration”, says Sam.
He equally breaks the mould with his finances as he doesn’t like credit and so pays suppliers pro-forma for all his products.
To support his designs, Sam chooses his suppliers carefully and is loyal to those he commits to.
JP Distribution (JPD) is one such business that has supplied Arabesque since it opened.
He explains why he chose the company: “I met Scott Dyson, the area sales manager for JPD. Because I liked him as a person, I started dealing with JPD.
“For me, I care more about personal engagement than I do about profit. My business is all about reputation.
“My customers buy off me due to my designers but I can’t let them down. They all know me now, at PJD, and sort out an immediate solution for me when I order. That allows me to spend my time sorting out my customers and fitting team.”
He also cites the personable delivery drivers and cheerful and helpful office staff as important touch points to the business: “They have employees that have worked there a long time and understand the products that they sell.#
“They are sensitive to the customers and always offer a solution. The owner of JPD should be very proud of what they have achieved.”
JPD is now led by managing director Graham Bucktrout, who has joined the company from Lecico UK.
Service not money driven
Sam says it is the personal touch which will continue to guarantee his business with supliers.
He explains: “I appreciate that the industry is all about money. If I spend lots with a supplier they tend to give better service.
But if I find a supplier that openly care more about money and doesn’t care about me, I cut them off. We are not money drive.”
So as an artist/designer has the kbb industry, for the past 15 years, given Sam satisfaction in his work?
“Yes I do get a satisfaction from a design job well done and seeing that I have added something different to my clients’ daily lives.”