Steve Wyatt and Jay Blades MBE officially launch the new Jay & Co shop in Poole. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By any measure this was one very special shop opening.
Not just because it was the first brick and mortar retail premises for Jay & Co.
The business is owned by Jay Blades MBE, the furniture restorer and presenter of TV’s popular The Repair Shop.
But also a collaboration with Steve Wyatt, Owner of Restored Retro in Poole.
The 45-year-old, pictured left, is proof that lives, however desperate they may seem at the time, can be turned around.
A former drug addict and ex-prisoner, he contacted Jay for advice about 18 months after leaving rehab.
That was eight years ago when Jay was running a charity, Out of the Dark, training disadvantaged people in furniture restoration techniques.
The pair met for the first time in his Wolverhampton workshop and have stayed in close touch ever since, working on a number of collaborations.
Steve is now a successful furniture restorer in his own right, opening Restored Retro in Kingland Crescent, Poole, two years ago.
When the space next door also became available he contacted Jay about having a dedicated showroom for Jay & Co.
The new Jay & Co shop, specialising in reclaimed, restored and reimagined furniture, was officially launched in front of dozens of people.
Part of the adjoining wall has been removed making it easy for customers to effortlessly move between the Restored Retro and Jay & Co showrooms.
Jay, 53, said he was “totally proud, 100 per cent” to be opening Jay & Co’s first retail premises and working with Steve.
He said: “I like to celebrate the uncelebrated.
“Steve has done an amazing job in turning himself around and then the business.
“It’s a case of let’s do something together.
“If it means me putting a little bit of a spotlight onto the Dolphin Centre and what these guys are trying to achieve then why not?
“Let’s do some good.”
Steve said: “It’s amazing when you share the passion and love for something,
“I’ve known Jay eight years now so to see Jay and his journey has been great.
“Equally we can complement each other.
“Jay and I are both at a point in our lives with different journeys but we’ve both been broken.
“This is a celebration of not giving up.
“It shows what you can do.
“It doesn’t matter what background you come from or whether you’ve suffered from addiction, mental health or bereavement.
“My experience of being in tough times is that if you keep pushing through it gets better.
“This is a celebration of that.
“It’s an absolute joy to bring this to Poole and the collaboration with Jay.
“We love working together.”
- Jay & Co and Restored Retro can be found at 28 and 26 Kingland Crescent, Poole.