Home Business Awards & Achievements ‘Funky’ North East furniture brand to exceed £1.6m turnover

‘Funky’ North East furniture brand to exceed £1.6m turnover

Members of the Funky Chucky team including Jordan Chatten, Rebecca Gordon, Sophie O’Mahony, marketing manager at Funky Chunky Furniture, Kevin Johnston, managing director of Funky Chunky Furniture, Simon Davies, James Brand and Abbie Nulty.

Jarrow-based solid wood furniture manufacturer, Funky Chunky Furniture, has achieved a record turnover of £1.6m in its sixth year of business.

From a cottage industry start-up, in 2013, the rustic furniture and shelves business now has its own manufacturing facility and continues to grow exponentially.
Funky Chunky Furniture achieved an estimated net profit of £149,000, and gross profit of £626,958, for the last financial year (July 2018 to July 2019).

Within the past year alone, turnover has increased by 31%, and the business has employed five new members of staff, across a range of job roles including skilled joiners, customer services representatives, and the creation of its own in-house marketing function with the appointment of a marketing manager. In addition, the business has launched new furniture collections, created by its own product designer.

Kevin Johnston, who previously ran Ask The Joiner, a local joinery service, founded the business to break into the North East furniture manufacturing industry.

Kevin, managing director of Funky Chunky Furniture, said: “In our first year turnover was £138,000, this year it will be £1,668,909. The business has grown rapidly and is continuing to grow. A big area of focus for us in terms of sustainable growth, is finding new ways to streamline operations and creating opportunities for space as we expand.

“We’re lucky enough to have a very handy team here which means, more often than not, we can build our own solutions. Having so many skilled pairs of hands on site means that vision becomes reality very quickly.”

Funky Chunky Furniture, once a fledgling business based in Kevin’s garage, is now an established brand with a third of sales coming through its website. Its distinctive chunky solid wood furniture is also available on popular websites such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy.

To complement its online presence, the firm has created an on-site showroom at its Jarrow workshop, to allow local customers to view larger items prior to purchase.

Sophie O’Mahony, marketing manager at Funky Chunky Furniture, said: “All our pieces are designed and manufactured by our craftsmen at our South Tyneside workshop. Having the showroom space means that customers can visit us, get a feel for the quality and range of wax finish options, and even see the team crafting our furniture.”

Funky Chunky Furniture has been supported by South Tyneside Council throughout its development journey – from providing a grant to fund Kevin’s first employee to providing continued business support to aid the firm’s growth.

Kevin said: “South Tyneside Council’s Business Investment team was instrumental in identifying grant opportunities that helped us get up and running.

“As we have grown, South Tyneside Council has been there alongside us, helping us secure funding for capital investment on more than one occasion. These investments have meant we have been able to increase our production capacity to meet demand.

“We have our eyes on the space we need to meet our growth requirement in the coming few years. We will be working with the council team on that. Our priority is to stay here and grow in South Tyneside.”