Chris and Mick Harrison have been in retail for 25 years and explain when they caught the bug and why they have never looked back , even through troubled times.
What is your background?
Chris – After graduating in psychology I worked in hostels for homeless young women and as a welfare rights adviser. After travelling in the Far East I decided to set up a shop in Manchesters Corn Exchange which I ran with Mick. We had a thriving business until it was destroyed by the Manchester bomb.
Mick – I came from a retail background working from an early age in the family interiors shop in Withington Manchester. I was part of the Manchester music scene in the eighties, playing guitar with Direct works and Big Weird. I also worked for BT as a set installer.
What do you love about your job?
We both love the freedom that comes from being self employed although it is hard work . We work weekends and often into the night . There’s a lot of work goes on behind the scenes. Most of all we love finding new and exciting products that we hope our customers will love too.
What inspires you?
We are inspired from our travels both home and abroad. We love beautiful things and furniture made by skilled craftsmen. Our mirrors and picture frames are made in the UK by a very talented carpenter .
Who are your favourite designers?
Neither of us really have a favourite designer . We like things that are well made , a bit quirky and interesting.
What do you do on your days off?
Chris- I enjoy Pilates which is much harder than it looks and playing the occasional game of golf with friends. Socialising with friends and music.
Mick- I have been riding motorcycles since the age of 16 and am a part time motorcycle instructor which allows me to indulge my passion. I have recently taken up scuba diving and still like to play my guitar. We both enjoy walking in the beautiful countryside surrounding Hebden Bridge with our golden retriever Buddy who features sometimes on our Facebook page.
Tell us about when you first opened your shop in Hebden Bridge?
We used to visit Hebden Bridge a lot prior to opening the shop . Our first trip to Hebden Bridge was to the Trades Club to watch some friends who were performing there. When the shop in the Corn exchange was destroyed we had a seventh month old daughter Amelia to look after so we thought Hebden Bridge would be the perfect place to start anew. We opened the shop in The Barn on the 13th December 1997 , the shop was a success and when the shop next door became available we knocked through and have been here for eighteen years.
Why is Amelias barn different to The Barn?
For years customers have been asking if we have a web site so we have finally taken the
plunge . We get a lot of customers from all over the country so an online presence will be useful to stay in touch and to let customers know of new products and special offers.
The Barn is based at 46 Bridge Gate , Hebden Bridge West Yorkshire HX7 8EX