Brandon father launches Harleys Home and Leisure business named after son
A self-confessed technophobe has surprised himself by starting his own online man-in-van business.
Brandon father-of-one Reece Horide stepped into the unknown when he was put on furlough, and then made redundant, from his job of ten years as a sales rep.
The 33-year-old describes enduring 12 'long and hard' weeks at the start of the pandemic when he was unable to see his son Harley - who was shielding due to severe asthma. This motivated Reece to create his own company, which he named Harleys Home and Leisure.
"For the first time in years I was not working," said Reece.
"I learned how to build a website that sold pieces I had collected from people who were giving them away for free.
"People were asking me if I could do removals and home clearances as well, so I have updated my business plan."
Mr Horide invested some of his savings to set-up the company and has since bought a larger van to allow him to clear out business premises and make larger deliveries. He has taken efforts to ensure his work is insured and legally abiding by appropriate industry licences. Another key part of the business is upcycling - the process of upgrading or transforming unwanted parts or reusable items.
"It was launched on a whim," Mr Horide says of the business. He now takes on part-time subcontractors for some jobs, but is essentially a one-man-band and happy to take on work anywhere in a 45-mile radius.
"There is a demand for clearance at the moment," he said. "People have been coming to a variety of things and I have lots of five star reviews on my Facebook page."
He added the social media profile had been seen by thousands.
"It is all new to me," he said about building a base online.
"It took a few months, and maybe some could do it in a few minutes, but it is something I never thought I could do.
"I am not great with technology, but if you are someone who has worked every day and then you just stop it can be hard. I knew I needed to do something."
Mr Horide is taking the business as it comes, but hopes he may be able to establish a physical shop in the future - a 'Cash Converters of the furniture world,' as he calls it.
"It has all been amazing. If somebody had told me last year I would not have believed them."