Sometimes, as in this case, those difficult times are the catalyst for incredible life changes. Spending the last ten years building a successful career in IT Project Delivery for the Civil Service, Sian Howarth, Founder and CEO of Norah Rose Staging, always felt there was something missing. She enjoyed her job, but she knew she wanted something to call her own. Something much more creative.
Seeing a gap in the market, she took the opportunity to “go all in”, combining her passion and expertise doing something she loves, and help others “deliver show stopping interiors as a cost-effective investment with one main goal – to achieve a higher return on their investment”. Confident in her abilities, she’s yet to fail. “I have an eye for detail and just love building something I’m proud and passionate about,” she says with a creative twinkle in her eye. “At Norah Rose Staging we’re renowned for our inspiringly authentic vision and approach! Always over delivering and ensuring customer service is at the heart of what we do, providing a level of familiarity and trust to our clients, through really understanding what they need and want. We are totally client focused.”
Sian, and Norah Rose Staging, have gained an excellent reputation as a multi award winning, property staging experts across South Wales and beyond. Sian says she instinctively knows the type of furniture packages, design selections and decisions required and can implement them with flair and pizzazz.
She’s spent eight years honing her craft in interiors and property, delivering specialist commercial projects, bespoke projects, executive lets, luxury penthouses, guest-ready serviced accommodation and fully furnished staged-to-sell properties – she really is passionate about elevating a property to greater heights.
Sian’s story is one filled with grief, pain and loss. “My childhood years were far from good, with home life being abusive and toxic,” she says. In her early teens, Sian’s mum plucked up the courage to leave the family home, starting on a long and difficult journey to build up her life again. At the age of twelve, Sian’s life took a turn for the better – enter Dennis!
Dennis taught her right from wrong, encouraged her to be fully herself, reach for the stars, gave her endless curfews and boundaries (which at the time were ridiculous) and showed her how to have a sense of humour – “probably why I take things with a pinch of salt and am ever the optimist you see today,” she laughs. “Things were great!” Life, finally, was good.
At seventeen, life changed again! One Monday evening, on 15 January, Sian received a call from her brother. Instantly she knew something was off and answered reluctantly. What she heard at the end of the phone was the worst possible news ever. Dennis had been playing 5-a-side football with his mates, something he had been desperate to get back into for some time. Being the joker he was, Den appeared to fall over in goal and his friends thought he was mucking about. They did like to prank each other and have a bit of banter. If only that was the case! Dennis, Sian’s dad, not by blood, but by choice had suffered a major heart attack. Words that no wife, or child, ever wants to hear. He had died. “My world felt like it had been destroyed.” Sian felt everything had been taken from her.
The impact it had on Sian and the family was devastating, understandably, and, as she says, “things went to a really dark place for some time”. But being the optimist she was, and still is, Sian knew she had no other option but to push forward with her dreams and do dad proud. She packed her bags and headed off to be a Butlin’s redcoat in Bognor Regis! All singing, all dancing!
“Looking back, I was definitely running away,” she says. “There were too may reminders at home and it was too painful to be around.” From sunny Bognor Regis, she ventured oversees to Tenerife where she DJ’d for some time, and fondly remembers “some of the best experiences ever”.
Even though she was having a good time and a great life in the Canaries, again, she knew she was destined for more and came back home to get a “proper job” and began a career in the Civil Service.
Fast forward to 2020 and yet another massive event changed her life (and we don’t mean Covid). In April 2020, the backbone of the Howarth family, the entertainer, the strength, the legend, Norah Howarth, passed away. Norah was Sian’s Grandmother – an inspiring, authentic, honest and creative lady who was adored by all. “I mean who else do you know who turns up to their 90th birthday wearing a fuscia pink cocktail dress, stockings and a feather boa?!”
In 2021, Sian moved in with her partner Lewis and, as they say, new house, new baby. “I fell pregnant! And it was the most incredible feeling,” she says. But alas, life wasn’t finished with its challenges. Not long after they found out, Sian had a miscarriage. “It was very early on which was devastating. It almost broke me,” she says. Then shortly after, it happened again, and then again. In the space of five months, the couple endured three recurring losses which was “just too unbearable to comprehend”.
Sian says that moment changed everything, “I leaned in on all the pain and grief, and harnessed it, transforming it into my fuel and created Norah Rose Staging!” What better way to honour her late gran, naming her business after who she proudly describes as “one of the greatest!”
Norah Rose Staging is more than just a business for Sian. “It’s my baby, my little gem,” she says. And her passion and determination shines through in all she does. “Whilst Staging is what we do, and we’re damn proud to be doing this in Wales with the reputation we have, we’ve always dreamed of much more!”
I ask her what the future holds for Norah Rose Staging. “There’s so much to talk about, and so much more to come over the next few months – our service location is expanding (think big city lights), a tonne of events are already planned in for 2023, plus some really exciting workshops and announcements (Watch this space!).” There’s that confident smile again. We have no doubt this lady means business. Sian has one question for you all… “Have you got dressed yet? Our team can help you.”
Norah Rose Staging
0330 133 7949
07581 538 735
CEO / Public Speaking,
Events and Host enquiries
Bookings / Queries
Do you have an inspirational story?
Please get in touch.