Derwent Homes: Katie Ollivant’s mission to revive family business

Family Mission: Terry Derwent, sons Lee and Jamie, with sister Katie.
Family Mission: Terry Derwent, sons Lee and Jamie, with sister Katie.

KATIE Ollivant is on a mission: to revive the family business that was her parents’ pride and joy.

For many years Derwent Homes was one of the area’s leading building companies, employing more than 50 people.

But in 2002 mum Jillian lost her fight with breast cancer – and devastated husband, Terry, closed the business.

Four years on Terry, also pictured with sons Lee (right) and Jamie (left) decided to relaunch the family firm. But it was just as the housing market hit a downturn and the recession took hold. They began to build up a reputation, but word of mouth was no longer enough to bring in the clients.

Enter Katie, 28 today (Thursday).

She has spent the last few years honing her skills in PR and advertising and has now taken on the role of sales and development manager.

“I’ve spent years advertising and promoting other people’s brands, now it’s time to use my experience and add it to the hard work of the rest of my family,” says Katie.

“They’re damn good builders, but they never had to sell the company!”

She has now embarked on a campaign of networking and sales pitches, determined to ensure that the family business will flourish once more.

lDetails: www.derwenthomes.co.uk