“I want to make seamless flooring the vogue in homes,” says Gibbins of her new venture. “My vision is to develop a really feminine lifestyle brand where we create beautiful stone carpets for conservatories and garden rooms, reflexology walkways and therapeutic flooring – it will be like bringing nature indoors.”
Now a registered company, Gibbins has just purchased a four storey Georgian-listed building in Congelton, Cheshire, which is where the Barefoot Living office is going to be located. “The company is going to have a very different culture to Flowcrete,” explains Gibbins.
Inspired by her growing love for Feng Shui, Gibbins says that Barefoot Living will aim to breathe new life into the UK manufacturing industry.
“I’ve stood up in front of thousands of people talking about the benefits of bringing Feng Shui into the manufacturing industry. As you can imagine, all the men were looking on and thinking, ‘My god, who is this woman?’” says Gibbins good-humouredly.
“I’ve created the term, “factory floorshui” to communicate the message that we’ve got to turn grey into gold in UK manufacturing. UK manufacturers need to wake up and think about how important working environments are for inspiring their employees.”
With this in mind, Gibbins has grand designs for Barefoot Living.
“The first floor is going to be a retail offering to showcase the Barefoot flooring and it will be decorated with big artwork and statues. The second floor is going to be therapy rooms, where we can offer reflexology and massages for potential customers. And then the top floor will be the offices.”
True to its name, Gibbins says that all employees are going to work barefoot.
“We’re going to have underfloor heating so it’s going to be a very feminine sale. There’s a different way of selling to women compared to men that I’m only just learning about now. I’ve already got people in South Africa, America and Australia that want to buy the franchise from me because they believe in the concept so I’m confident it will be a success.”