Who Are We?
Wendy’s Story – The Inspirational Woman Behind Shaded Cube
Wendy Chamberlain is the inspirational and hard-working woman behind Shaded Cube. She started her first business aged 25, which ran successfully for around 25 years. Since then she has merged with another business, co-founded a second, has been an investor, and worked freelance with a large online company with £40m turnover. Shaded Cube is her 4th business venture.
This in itself is an impressive history but add to that being a single mother of two who found herself with no income, her mother had a stroke and moved into the family home so that Wendy could care for her; and a fuller picture of Wendy’s tenacity, resilience and diligence starts to emerge.
From accidental beginnings
It all began in 1975 when she found an abandoned 1964 2CV in Beckenham Junction car park. Little did she know that this would be a turning point and the start of a new business.
Wendy already loved the Citroen 2CV, having bought a 1954 model, whilst studying for a childcare qualification to run a pre-school playgroup. But when she found the ‘younger’ model, she set to work restoring it; rebuilding the engine with a little help from her friends and fixing the bodywork, then finally respraying the car and recovering the seats. In the process however, the canvas roof shrunk. What seemed like a blow was in fact an opportunity to make a new roof in beautiful stripes matching the resprayed colour…. and the start of a unique business.
Using plain replacement roofs, she went on to create a variety of beautiful striped roofs in bright colours, which she sold through garages and then direct. These were the first striped roofs and became known as ‘Wendy Roofs’. Later she created more and more products, until just about all of the interior was re-created and added to with modern safety fabrics that mimicked the original.
Wendy went on to develop the Overlander Range by Chamberlain’s: a range of fabrics, along with waterproof seat covers to suit all the Land Rover models.
Property development, housing, eco-build, land searches, car refurbishment and garden produce are just some of the areas that Wendy has experience with. From product development and instillation to sales and marketing, she really has covered it all!
“I find it really funny when people say that I’m a serial entrepreneur. Necessity is the mother of invention and that’s why and how I came to be where I am today. I’ve taken risks and made mistakes along the way, but I’ve also learned some invaluable lessons and gained a huge set of skills.
Years ago, my motivation was to put a roof over my daughters’ heads and food on the table. Now it’s not really that dissimilar as I’d like to leave a legacy in the shape of a thriving business for my children and grandchildren”
Shaded Cube is not Wendy’s only passion, she has a love of dogs and horses, which has led to owning, breeding, training and showing both over the years. And she is a dedicated grandmother to Jake, Owen and Lexi.
Wendy’s top tip for anyone thinking of setting up a business:
“Make sure that the nature of what you will be doing, suits your chosen life style.”
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