Rachel Conroy, 35, CEO of HLF.
Matthew Neville

Gateshead business woman recognised for her “extraordinary” leadership

A talented Newcastle woman has been named as one of Britain’s “brightest young business leaders”.

Rachel Conroy, 35, CEO of Gateshead based HLF, a supplier of contract standard furniture to holiday parks, hotels, student groups, build to rent, serviced apartments and retirement villages, has been included in the “influential” business magazine Management Today’s list of ‘35 Women Under 35’ 2022.

This features new female role models and spotlights young businesswomen who have achieved “extraordinary things in a short period of time”. It celebrates Britain’s next generation of women leading businesses during a time of change and “tough social and economic challenges”.

The HLF Group has seen a strong performance since opening for business in 2018, achieving strong organic growth on the back of £2m sales this year. Now, Rachel and her management team are targeting £3m in revenues in the next 12 months as she looks to extend services to customers in the UK both within the leisure industry and beyond.

Investment in a 7,500 sq ft head office and design centre on Whiteley Road in Blaydon has accommodated ambitious plans, helping HLF to develop its presence in the social housing and build-to-rent markets in the next 12 months.

After realising that working as a solicitor was not sustainable with a young family, Rachel decided to launch The HLF Group while on maternity leave. She commented: “I’m so pleased for everyone at HLF to feature in the list; it’s testament also to their hard work and effort.

“In just over four years, we have grown the business to become the market leader. In a short period of time, we have won contracts with some of the biggest holiday operators in Britain, including Park Dean Resorts, Hoseasons and Skyes. We are now seeing huge advances into other sectors particularly co-living and build-to-rent.

“We are making the investments as our customers look to change furniture more often while requiring better quality products at trade prices. Particularly in the holiday sector, they expect the accommodation they pay to stay in to be aesthetically pleasing and the owners need hard wearing furniture at a very competitive price.”

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