Despite the influx of adversities thrown at many small businesses on the Isle of Wight during the coronavirus pandemic, 1 Island business has managed to turn a tough situation into a bumper year of trade.

Cowes-based Northstar Conversions, a locally owned and family-run business of 20 local people, began the pandemic like many other businesses: concerned for the future.

In the face of rising costs of materials and staffing issues caused by self-isolation measures, Northstar has continued to provide excellent service for its customers both on the Island and nationwide.

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With many now choosing to staycation rather than head abroad in troubling times for travel, Northstar has seen a huge increase in its workload as more and more of us turn to new solutions to our travel and leisure needs.

Specialising in the conversion of vans such as Volkswagen Transporter’s and Ford Transit’s into fully-fledged campers, Northstar has truly ridden the turbulent wave that has been the pandemic by offering novel solutions to the needs of its customers, along with local businesses.

Directors Adam Coombe and Carol Besre-Coombe believe that campervans have undergone a resurgence in popularity, with their range of Japanese import vehicles proving especially popular due to their ability to be used as daily drivers as well as a home from home.

Carol says:

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“We’ve seen a huge increase in enquiries and commissions during the pandemic, although it has to be said that at the beginning, like everyone else, we had real concerns about the future.

“At one point, to help keep our staff working, we began altering our offering and providing local businesses with coronavirus screens.

“We’ve been able to adapt and now we are able to reap the rewards – as are our customers!”

With bookings for conversions surging, Northstar has also recently increased the number of local people it employs, with the demand for its quality conversions expected to continue to rise into the foreseeable future.

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Adam Coombe adds:

“I think what’s great about employing a local workforce is that everyone comes together so well to create an almost invincible team.

“We’re so proud of our workforce and what we’ve all been able to achieve over the past 18 months despite it sometimes seeming like the world was against us.

“It’s fair to say that despite being tested by the pandemic, we have definitely come out the other side stronger than ever”.

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6 months ago

Northstar are fabulous. How nice to see a family firm flourishing on the Island.


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