Today we take time out to speak to Natalie Hewitt, who is one half of the leadership team at the Hewitt&Carr Group.
Since 2011 Natalie Hewitt and Mark Carr have been working together to grow the Hewitt&Carr Group, which includes the businesses Hewitt&Carr Architects, Hewitt&Carr Developments and their latest venture Hewitt&Carr Services.
Natalie is also one of the youngest ever Presidents of the Staffordshire Moorlands Chamber of Commerce.
How did it all begin?
Where do I start? It started one “merry” evening in Leek. I made a comment … it sparked an idea and the rest is history as they say. Mark and I wanted to create a business that was people focussed, that had small company values but offered big company service and expertise. A company that focussed on the clients, no matter the size or scale of the project.
How has the business grown over the past 9 years?
Nine years have flown by and it still surprises me everyday how much we have achieved and what Hewitt&Carr has become. It has been a journey of investment in the company and the next generation of talent. The launch of Hewitt&Carr Developments in 2014 allowed us in time to give back to the community providing high quality office accommodation in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Our newest venture Hewitt&Carr Services brought back to the forefront of our minds that we set up to help people, and this is what HCS does. It helps the construction industry and supports what they do day in day out by being a single point contact for support services.
How have you coped during lockdown?
Lockdown has been a very interesting time as at the beginning of it I was halfway through a personal renovation project. I saw first-hand the impact that the pandemic had on the industry, from a professional service point of view and with the trades. What was supposed to be a five-week project became a 12 week one. The business has kept me very busy and focussed however. Taking the very rare opportunity to revisit it in its entirety and make positive changes for the future with more investment planned in the coming weeks/months that will see Hewitt&Carr go from strength to strength.
What are you most proud of?
On a personal level I have a lot to be proud of, but I’m not going to bore you with stories of resilience, achievement or abilities, instead I will focus on setting up the Hewitt & Carr Group, all of it. From the early days in the studio when Mark and I took the decision to employ, to buying DaisyBank House and opening its doors to the business community it has all given me an enormous sense of pride. I wake up everyday proud to go to work. Even in tough times I remember that things will get better and continue to strive for the best.
You are also President of the Staffordshire Moorlands Chamber of Commerce, what is your aim as President?
My aim is to give the smaller SME companies in the Staffordshire Moorlands a bigger voice and make sure the great support the chamber provides reaches all parts of the district. My aim is to increase membership and engagement here in the Moorlands and help the chamber grow ensuring all companies have the opportunity to benefit from the network of high quality, experienced businesses in Staffordshire – After all what a pedigree our county has.
Who inspires you?
Dame Ellen MacArthur was the keynote speaker at my sister’s graduation ceremony. What she achieved was inspirational and to hear about her experiences first-hand was something that has spurred me on in business because listening to her made me feel that anything was achievable. I’ve also had very strong women as role models throughout my life. My wife, my mum, my sister and my step-mum have all achieved incredible things and taught me huge amounts in the process. I would like to think I take a little from all of them – power, drive and determination.
What are your plans for the future?
I always find the future quite exciting, but as I get older I am realising that you have to look at where you’ve been to know where you are going and to make sure what is to come is the best that it can be. Focus on today and on the future that lies ahead because tomorrow never comes.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Well outside of work it is very rare to find me without a piece of old wood in my hand or with a power tool on the go. I love a good project, from home renovation, to making furniture or garden structures. My childhood was one of being outdoors and working hard and so I am very rarely still. My next project is actually one for the office, I feel a new coffee table and meeting bench are on the cards.