The Oxford Window Company are a start-up regional, husband-and-wife team, who joined the Gowercroft Partnership Programme in 2021.
We recently sat down with Emma & Jamie, the owners of The Oxford Window Co, to learn more about them and their business.
Gowercroft Joinery: Emma & Jamie: you have been working with Gowercroft Joinery for a year now. We would love to learn more about you and your business and share your story with others, who may wish to join the success of the Gowercroft Partnership Programme.
Gowercroft Joinery: Can you please tell us about The Oxford Window Company, How did you start the business and why did you do so?
Jamie: Previously I spent 10 years as an employee of a Timber Window & Door Manufacturer. Working my way up, so only the MD was above me. I had nowhere to go and felt I could offer a far better service for homeowners.
In that time, I had spent many days visiting the homes of people who had bought our products form a third-party distributor/installation company and they were experiencing many problems.
Typically the problems were from poor installations and nearly every customer was holding out on their last stage payment, until the issues were resolved. Today, hand on heart, TOWC, have never had a client withhold any payments to us.
This is because whilst working for said company, I identified the opportunity to offer customers a quality product and service that could offer us, healthy returns. There was, and still is, a great void in the level of service that customers are experiencing. We fill that void.
Emma: Professionally I was a secondary school teacher, and we had a young growing family. I was finding myself teaching teenagers in the day and then dealing with the family stuff in the evenings. It was exhausting.
I had already decided to start my own business, helping people to renovate their homes. It was around this time that Jamie felt he could really make a go of working for himself. So we both took the plunge and started TOWC. It was a risk, we were both leaving fully employed positions. We are so pleased we gave it a go though.
Gowercroft Joinery: Is it correct that you are a fully qualified Shipwright and what do they do?
Jamie: Yes that is what I studied, Shipwrights are boat builders.
Gowercroft Joinery: So with your boat building experience and timber windows in mind, why did you choose Gowercroft Joinery to become your supplier?
Jamie: Well, Gowercroft Joinery make the best products they possibly can. They use quality materials that stand the test of time. They get the fundamentals right and definitely don’t cut any corners!
We had seen other timber window and door manufacturers before we chose who to go with. Gowercroft Joinery: were more professional and in a position to grow with us. It’s strange, they seemed more like a family and are good people.
Gowercroft Joinery: Emma: you deal with the customer enquiries and dealing with all the paperwork. How do the Gowercroft systems assist you in this role?
Emma: Previously before we partnered Gowercroft Joinery: we were reliant on the supplier to raise our quotations for us. This was problematic, we were not able to be as responsive to our customers enquiries as we needed to be. For example, customers would ask us to raise a quotation on the same day. This is now possible using the Gowercroft Joinery systems, we raise our own quotes, we can then amend them during the sales process and it empowers us to be in control of our customer’s journey.
It is, hugely valuable as we are not wasting time chasing up the supplier.
The system is very intuitive and is a huge asset to our working day.
Gowercroft Joinery: What questions do you often get asked by your customers?
Jamie: I often speak to our customers about how important it is to ensure that the correct timber products are suitable for their projects. The Gowercroft Joinery Red Grandis & Accoya range of products are very well made and technically ideal for our installations.
Emma: Guarantees are very confusing to customers. We always advise people to read the small print. Often people will mention to us that other companies are offering a longer guarantee period. When they do come back to us, they now understand that many of these guarantees are only there if people get specialists to carry out maintenance work every 18 months over the full period of the guarantee.
Customer do not want to have unknown labour and product cost over the course of the guarantee period, who knows how much it could be.
With the 10-year, Gowercroft Joinery no quibble guarantee, all they have to do is wipe down the windows and doors every year. No hidden cost at all, this gives them great piece of mind.
We often mention to customers that it is far better to invest in a product that is designed to stand the test of time. Not a guarantee, that professes to do the same and with a lot of the responsibility sitting with the homeowner.
With the Gowercroft Joinery Guarantees, we are able to commit to our company values, An honest approach to suppling timber wooden windows & doors.
Gowercroft Joinery: Do you have a favourite project and why?
Emma: I do, I do!
Our door we did recently, with the stained glass. It’s the happiest door, I have ever seen, for the happiest customer, they just go together.
We worked together on the correct colour schemes, for the door, glass and ironmongery, everything had to be just perfect. “It’s like a ray of sunshine on the front of her house.
Jamie: Mine will be coming soon, due to the new LandVac vacuum glazing. It is superb for heritage homes, we will do lots of those. What I’m very excited about is, we can now offer it, for new builds, where people are looking to specify, triple glazing, we can offer a thinner product, that is far more efficient, this is a game changer.
It works extremely well in the heritage market but certainly it will be great for passive house installations also.
Gowercroft Joinery: “I understand this year you have been able to move into new premises and previously you operated from home. How has this benefitted you both?”
Emma: Starting from home was a logical first step as a new business to reduce the costs. We have soon outgrown the space and the new premises have enabled us to become even more professional and business focussed.
It confirms a level of success for us.
Jamie: It highlights, we are on the right track as a business”.
Gowercroft Joinery: What is the next milestone for TOWC and how can Gowercroft Joinery help you to achieve this?
Emma: We are adding more qualified personnel to our installations team & plan to make improvements to our website very soon.
Jamie: TOWC & Gowercroft Joinery are ambitious, we work well together. If I can spend more time on project management, this will have a positive effect on the continued growth of the business.
Emma: Continue to be a responsive partner please. The team’s support is really valued, thank you all.
A big thank you to Emma & Jamie for sitting down with us today and sharing your company’s story. You have been a major part in the success of the Gowercroft Joinery Partnership Programme.
We are with you all the way.