Walt Disney once said, “A man should never neglect his family for business” – but what if these are one and the same? Furniture News asks Sarah Bianchi how she balances ambition and appreciation in a family business that’s striving to become much more than the sum of its parts …

With a heritage dating back to 1854, Arighi Bianchi is one of the UK’s longest-running furniture businesses. Perhaps best known for its iconic glass-fronted Macclesfield store, the business was established by Antonio Arighi, an entrepreneur on the run from civil war in Italy, and his brother in law, Antonio Bianchi, a cabinetmaker.

Five generations later, Arighi Bianchi continues to set high standards in independent retail, demonstrating its prowess both in-store and online. 

Sarah joined the family business at the age of 23, and fulfilled a range of roles, from managing the carpet division, to HR and buying, before her appointment as MD in summer 2021 – a promotion that coincided with a concerted ecommerce development drive, building on record sales delivered during the pandemic. 

Sarah outlined her ambition to take Arighi Bianchi far beyond the North West and its existing customer demographic, and the momentum continues to build, she tells Furniture News in January's issue