NORWALK, Conn. – Karen and Jon Bradbury were seeking to start a business where they could best leverage their skills. They found it with Closet & Storage Concepts of Connecticut, in Norwalk, which helps homeowners to find custom solutions for their storage needs.
The Bradburys opened the business last year at 356 Ely Ave. in Norwalk. The team there offer storage solutions, from closets to garages, mud rooms, pantries, home offices and laundry rooms.
“What separates us from the competition is our customer service, experience and ability to design a solution that’s right for the home and the budget,’’ Bradbury said. “We listen to our clients and offer custom designs at affordable prices.”
The Bradburys started the business after researching various opportunities. The business allowed them to combine their diverse backgrounds, with each bringing different strengths and experiences.
Karen Bradbury is an interior designer and was managing director outsourcing for CB Richard Ellis. Before that she was vice president of global corporate real estate services for The Nielsen Co. A good portion of her job centered on space optimization for large commercial properties.
Jon Bradbury, who is the head of operations for the business, is British and met Karen when she was working in London. He moved to the United States in 2010, and they were married in June 2011. Jon is a certified public accountant and has an honors degree in computer programming.
Throughout his career, he has owned several successful businesses in the manufacturing arena. The most notable was Bradburys, a food-manufacturing business that supplied freshly prepared foods for hotel and catering industries across the south of England.
The Bradburys considered several locations before deciding on Norwalk. They looked at towns farther north but decided on the Ely Avenue location because they live in Norwalk and felt it was a central destination for shoppers from Fairfield County and Westchester County.
Closet & Storage Concepts has corporate offices in New Jersey with stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado, North Carolina and Toronto. The Norwalk location is the only Connecticut store.
The Bradburys and their employees work with homeowners to design storage solutions, no matter the size the home. “We can create a look that is both functional and compliments the look and style of the space,’’ Karen Bradbury said. “We’ve developed storage solutions for everything from multimillion-dollar homes to condominiums. Our goal is to create a functional, aesthetically pleasing solution that maximizes space and fits the client’s budget."
The joint business venture with a husband-and-wife team was a leap of faith. She wanted a job that required less traveling and allowed her to get back to her interior design roots, and Jon wanted to put his small business management experience to the test in the U.S.
“It took a little while to get used to working with each other,’’ Karen Bradbury said. “We’re both pretty strong personalities and had been used to running our own shows. We’re now comfortably settled in our roles and are truly enjoying the business. Jon manages the business side, and I do the design, sales and marketing. We’re looking forward to doing it for a lot of years to come.”