Kirsten Colquhoun has recently taken over our showroom in East Kilbride Scotland as the latest addition to our fantastic franchise network. We took the time to sit down with Kirsten ahead of her showroom relaunch to find out about her professional experience, motivations and why she decided to join The Kitchen Depot family.
Kirsten has always had a fantastic relationship with The Kitchen Depot thanks to her mums involvement in our flagship Hillington showroom. For over 8 years now, June has been the friendly face greeting customers and stakeholders alike who cross the threshold of our showroom doors. As a keen baker, June regularly lights up our staff and customers faces with some of her delicious recipes, some of which she has kindly published.
We asked Kirsten what she thinks of when she hears The Kitchen Depot name and she said “Family! Or more accurately friends and neighbours that have become an extension of our family. Furthermore, the values that come with being part of a wider family; honestly, integrity, respect and professionalism. It’s a brand that I trust, through both the people that make up the company, to the quality of the cabinetry and the products on offer.”
Motivation and inspiration
“My Daughter Ayla motivates me, naturally as a parent I want her to have the best life and I don’t want her to be missing out on opportunities. My other biggest motivation is my dad, he was the catalyst that started this journey, he may not be with us today however he has certainly been on this journey with me. I want to make both him and my mum proud.”
Kirsten’s father inspired her to join our Franchise network almost a decade ago when they both came to collect June at the end of the working day. She explained “as Dad and I had arrived early, we decided to walk our dog Buddy up and down the street. While we were chatting away, he advised me to look at opening a Kitchen Depot franchise if I decided to return from overseas, which at the time was very out of the blue. Sadly in 2019 my dad passed away, and since then I had longed to come home to be with family and found myself turning to his words of wisdom for advice in 2022 when Colquhoun Kitchens Ltd was established.”
The biggest challenge Kirsten faced on her journey was finding the right location. She said “that may sound silly however, it was so true.” While she was searching for premises the property market was at a stand still. Kirsten searched for locations East and South of Glasgow, as it had to be somewhere she could easily commute to for her daughter’s sake, before the opportunity to purchase our long standing showroom in East Kilbride arose. She took over the reigns in February 2023 and hasn’t looked back.
We asked Kirsten what advice she would give to prospective franchisees and said “trust your gut instinct and don’t get disheartened when things don’t happen the way you planned, at the end of the day everything happens for a reason. Oh and I would also advise to rob a bank first, that would definitely help.”
The new showroom
The Kitchen Depot East Kilbride has undergone a huge transformation. Seven brand new displays have been installed, including a working kitchen, while the design studio has been upgraded to create the perfect space for browsing samples and exploring colour combinations. The showroom has also had a full rewire with upgrades to IT infrastructure being put in place to ensure our kitchen design software delivers the optimal experience for customers.
Kirsten struggled to tell us what her favourite facet of the new showroom was: “That is a very hard question, I love our new working kitchen it’s so nice to be able to hold a conversation with guests while making the tea and coffees. I also enjoy our new back office as it’s just a perfect workspace. However our design studio is stunning and filled with so much natural light. It’s fantastic to see the designs come to life on our large TV’s as well.”
Values and goals
“Customer Service! Across all the different roles I have had, Customer Service is the one value I am most passionate about delivering, and I believe it can be the simplest things that leave a lasting impression. Having Emirates award winning customer service training this is something I have taken with me to future jobs and projects, and certainly something that I will be looking to instil here at East Kilbride. Good Customer service costs nothing however makes a different.”
In terms of the showroom experience, Kirsten says her aim is “for everyone that comes in to feel relaxed and at home. Our goal is to pass on our knowledge while providing and exceptional service, that when its time to leave you will feel part of our wee family.”
Background and experience
“Right after graduating, I got a Job as a flight attendant with Emirates Airlines. I packed my suitcase and moved over to Dubai to live. My plan was to come home after 3 years with a load of savings, however, that never happened and 16 years later I finally came home. I didn’t stay with Emirates all that time, I flew for 6 years and then found a job relating to my degree and went from there. My favourite destinations to fly to were Capetown, Osaka, and New York.”
Kirsten Colquhoun is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP). With over 10 years of Middle East experience conceptualising, project managing and delivering a wide range of strategic, high profile and unique events across multiple cities and countries. She’s worked in both the private and public sectors, including areas such as Oil & Gas, Financial Services, Retail & Consumer, and Governmental entities. Her skillset will certainly be applicable to running a successful kitchen showroom.
Quick Fire Questions
We asked Kirsten a few quick fire questions to gain a better understanding of her as a person and what she enjoys when she’s not hard at work.
I am a seafood lover, I really enjoy cooking fish, when I get the time I like to cook thai salmon fishcakes, although my go to evening meal would certainly be Marinated Salmon, with vegetables and mash or rice.
Although our favourite is certainly granny’s homemade Boston beef hotpot or Spaghetti Bolognaise. I wont lie, I am not the best cook and prefer when something is cooked for me.
Cheese (I love a varied selection), Fresh Pasta, Wafter Thin Ham, Yoghurts, and Beef Lasagne (tonights dinner).
A Tunnocks caramel wafer – every time!
Softplay and trips to the park are definitely things I enjoy to switch off and enjoy time with my little one. When I do get the opportunity, I enjoy a yoga and Pilates class. I also like to relax with a good book, I am currently reading Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.