Best friends Alicia Kelly and Krystyna Kominek are literally "poles" apart - but they do not intend to let geography get in the way of their new business venture.
Thanks to the worldwide web the two pals have set up an internet business offering luxury goods sourced in low- cost Poland, even though Alicia is based in Coventry and Krystyna is in Warsaw.
Krystyna does the legwork, hunting down supplier opportunities from craftsmen in and around her home city and further afield in Poland, while Alicia, who is of Polish extraction, handles the UK marketing operation.
After years of discussing a joint business venture, the partners - who became friends when Krystyna married Alicia's cousin - were nudged into action when Krysia lost her job following the closure of a Swiss medical supplies company.
Having decided on a web shop they set about getting their website - alkrisuk.com - up and running.
Among the luxury goods on offer are silver-case watches, handbags made of saddle leather, leather briefcases, hand-painted silk scarves, amber jewellery and chess sets.
Their most recent addition has been wooden toys, sourced from a firm that has been making similar items since 1934, and they are also planning to put lead crystal and porcelain from Chmielow on the site.
" We are about to include unique Sandomierz striped flint jewellery from world renowned artist Cezary Lutowicz. Cezary's art is included in the Vatican Collection, and his work is starting to take Europe by storm. "Recent purchasers of Sandomierz flint have included Victoria Beckham and Robbie Williams," said Alicia, who is continuing in her "day job" as evening receptionist and secretary with a Coventry law firm.
"The items we are selling are all very reasonably priced," she said. "The silver watches we are selling for £95 would cost £200 or so in the UK."
Alicia says she plans to take retail space at some of England's county shows, and has already booked space at the Royal Show.