On the eve of a new business and new home, Adele Lock takes time out to talk Chanel and Sugar with me at The Legh Arms, Prestbury
‘I do have the moving bug,’ confesses Adele as we settle for a quick bite to eat. Adele’s company, Edengate Bespoke Homes is currently renovating Butley Hall, Prestbury hence the quick transformation from site visit and high vis vest to good food and chat.
‘I bought my first house when I was 19 and have since moved seven or eight times. We’ve lived in Worsley, Wilmslow, Didsbury, Knutsford, Plumley, Dusbury again and now by the river in Chester.’ There’s a big difference though from being a serial mover to being a property developer, especially during the economic downturn.
‘For me, it’s about self-belief and not in an arrogant way. It’s about taking hold of the opportunities presented to you with both hands. And it’s about tackling adversity the same way, with will and determination. Then it’s about luck, help and hard work.’
After school Adele went to RADA, where she met her husband of 15 years, Matt. I can’t help but wonder if that experience and being on stage has something to do with her self-belief.
Adele may appear familiar to you because she starred in a new show in 2005, The Apprentice. ‘I applied on a whim; I thought it was a business documentary. I was one of The Apprentice virgins and had no idea what I was letting myself in for!
‘I have no regrets about taking part. It was a life changing experience but it made me realise that my family is the most important thing to me. It also made me realise I wanted to really make something of my life.’
Passion and enthusiasm are high in Adele’s character, that and a workaholic nature. ‘I come from a workaholic background. Mum and dad have always worked hard and taken whatever jobs they needed to in order to survive. It gets on Matt’s nerves but he must be used to it now after 21 years!
Before The Apprentice, Adele worked in her mum and dad’s kitchen showroom in Chorlton, expanding the company. It has been reported that she worked late into the night before her first boy was born, Ted, and sold a kitchen to the midwife.
For the birth of her second boy, Ellis, there was just a conservation officer in tow as the plans were in place for Butley Hall. Whilst the work-life balance may be intertwined at times, family is everything to Adele. ‘Work-life balance is all about compromise and I think people are less prepared to compromise today. I still help mum and dad out when I can. Mum’s my best friend. She keeps me grounded and taught me to treat others as I would like to be treated. Good, strong ethics in business and life. For example treating investors or clients money as if it were your own seems a fair principle but it’s amazing how many people comment on it.’
Back to business, Adele’s latest venture is Lock & Parker, a ‘down-to-earth boutique estate agency/concierge offering to go that extra mile’. Based in Alderley Edge, Adele is hoping to draw on her considerable experience of moving and apply the same will and determination to make this just as much of a success as The Gentry Grooming Co, A&S Kitchens and Edengate Homes, all of which she works closely with husband Matt and other family members on.
‘I do believe that things happen for a reason. Even at the lowest times and at the bottom of the steepest learning curve, there’s always a positive spin to be found. The best for me is learning experientially. That moment when you look back at what you’ve achieved and realise you’re on the home straight.
‘Success is about recognising a gap in the market and capitalising on it.’
Now for the life part. ‘I love escaping with the family in the caravan to The Lakes or Wales. It’s great, we’re all together, meeting new people and exploring. We’re hoping to get a bigger one so that we can start exploring Europe some more.’
Proud mum, daughter, wife and straight-talking businesswoman, Adele Lock seems to have life sussed; live it well, be true to yourself, cherish your family and believe in yourself. A good mantra to live by for anyone.
For The Cheshire Magazine, 2014