A desire to up the level of sustainability in the building sector led Jamie and Andy to start Building Lab, a construction and bespoke furniture business with a focus on doing things differently.

“We’re really passionate about using reclaimed timber and products like Ecopoxy to create unique furniture and building projects that are functional, great looking and eco-friendly,” Andy says.

“Creative projects, customer service and sustainability are at the heart of our business at Building Lab, and central to everything we do, and to our goals of selling our furniture nationwide from our own sustainable building.”

Soon after launching the business in 2016, the duo discovered the challenges of getting their business and products in front of the people who were in a position to buy them.

“We felt we needed an outside perspective on what we were doing, and that a mentor could help us do that,” Jamie says.

An online search led them to Venture Taranaki and the Business Mentors New Zealand programme.

“Having a mentor has done just that. We’ve got someone to bounce ideas off, and the experience they have brought to the business has been priceless.”

Since taking on a mentor the business has grown, moving to a larger space with a bigger workshop and a retail shopfront. As their knowledge and workload have expanded, so has the their relationship with a mentor – the business is moving on to a second mentor with a different area of expertise.

“Having a mentor is just so valuable. We look forward to growing the business and our knowledge to he point where we can one day help someone that is in the same situation we were in getting started.”

Which is exactly why the Business Mentors scheme is so effective.