We are French Grey Tales in Morpeth Northumberland. FGT started its life in May 2012.
Back in 2009 we started our family. Our first born child Daisy Welsh was born very early she was a 24 weeker, born 2 hours past the abortion limit and weighed just 1lb 7oz. She won her fight for life and came home to us in December 2009. We then had baby number two a bit of a shock we had little George a 31 weeks and I had two babies and a 11 month age gap, not for the faint hearted! After such an traumatic experience came Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, after being advised to take medication from our family GP I had another idea and began painting for our home. After finding Chalk Paint and being so impressed with the results I soon got the bug and when my husband came in from work I would hand over two babies and take my paint a brush and audio book into the garage and paint. It was so therapeutic that it began to heal all the stress that I had been carrying around. There was something so lovely about taking something tired and old and making it pretty again and giving it a new lease of life.
I remember laying in bed one night and saying to my husband I think I could do something with this and asked for £100 and I would spend £50 on furniture and £50 on paint and I would start a little business. There was me and one other lady painting professionally in the north east and that was it really and I LOVED doing it. That was it really I started a little Facebook page and that was it I began talking to my Facebook page like a mini online blog and it grew and grew and grew.
It became so busy that I had a put the children into nursery one day per week and the business seemed to grow as the children grew. In August 2013 I found the perfect little shop and decided to take the jump to take on my own shop. It was at this point I became an Autentico stockist and after deliberating over my first order I became a Autentico Chalk Paint stockist.
I had always been very open with my knowledge and skills and had always encouraged others to paint themselves so workshops were a natural progression and as well as paint I also wanted to offer other workshops so I started off offering Lampshades, crochet and of course painting workshops. I really wanted to be different from the other business doing similar and decided very early on that we would offer chairs to paint as part of the workshop. That way people would get something to take home and use as a reference also its very different painting a piece of furniture rather than a board flat on a table.
French Grey Tales is now the top selling paint stockist in the UK and with our own tinting machine we are able to offer the full Autentico paint range to our customers. How do we sell so much? …. Well everything we do is around the paint, it’s the absolute centre of what we do, we have a team of 6 and in that team, we all paint (allot) and are able to give advice and help because we all paint. The other thing we talk allot about is colour. We try to avoid painting with the whites and creams and work with as much colour as possible and everything is painted with Autentico from the outside to the walls floors and even the stairs, so that when people visit they can see and feel the different finishes and see lots of different colours.
As well as painting we have added to our workshop list all sorts of thing from candle making to dress making. We are a making shop, whenever you come into FGT you will find someone painting down stairs and Sewing upstairs in our FGTSTUDIO our knowledge is a shared and open thing. At FGT you can come in and buy a lampshade or painted piece of furniture or you can come on a workshop and we will show you how to make it yourself, or you can come along and pick up all the bits and pieces to make it yourself and we will help you do this if needed on the phone or our Facebook group.
FGT making things pretty. FGT motto is “she believed she could so she did” and that’s in everything we do and when you come to FGT you should feel like you can too.