Harrison Spinks is one of Great Britain’s most established and innovative bed makers.
The fifth-generation bed-maker has been manufacturing luxury mattresses under the Harrison, Somnus, Hybed and Spink& Edgar brands since 1840.
For almost 180 years the company has led the way in the bed industry by creating pioneering pocket spring technology and championing the use of 100 percent natural fillings. From drawing its own wire for its unique spring technology to growing natural fillings on its own farm in Yorkshire, Harrison Spinks is one of the most vertically integrated bed manufacturers in the world.
The company has been recognised with four Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, International Trade and two for Innovation.
Simon Spinks began painting bed legs at Harrison Spinks when he was 11 years old and has always had a passion for manufacturing beds. He officially began working at Harrison Spinks full time in 1989.
During his time at the business, Simon has designed the Millennium Award-winning Revolution®pocket spring – a game changer for the bedding industry.
How long have you been running your business and what does your business do?
I became Managing Director of the company when I was 25, but my family has been running the company for five generations now. There are currently three Spinks’ in the business: me, my father Peter who is on the Board of Directors, and my son Dan is a buyer.
Harrison Spinks manufacturers mattresses and beds. For over 178 years, we have led the way in the industry by creating pioneering pocket spring technology and championing the use of 100 per cent natural fillings. We are an almost 100 per cent vertically integrated company, which we’re really proud of.
What or who was the inspiration for the business current path you are on?
This is a family business and bedmaking is in our blood. We’ve also always had a strong vision on improving upon what we can and making the best even better. Throughout the years we have continuously invested in innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in spring technology.
We want to change the way the world sleeps and the way that beds are made, as well as the environments that they’re made in. Our mattresses don’t start life in a factory, but on our farm in North Yorkshire, and we make over 90 per cent of the components for our mattresses in house.
Is there any advice you wish you’d been given before you started your business?
I would’ve told myself to work for what you believe in and to never give up. I would also say to always have a plan but be prepared to change and adapt if needed.
What is the one most important thing you’ve learned during the experience of running your own business?
You have to do things that interest you. I have always been fascinated by how things are made and engineering, which is how we’ve come to develop making our own springs.
I feel that inventing and innovating our own springs has transformed our business and was the real start of our success.
What do you see as your future business challenges?
I see one large challenge as the saturation of the high-end mattress market.
As well as this, we want to build the first fully recyclable mattress, but we are already on our way with this technical challenge.
What would you like to leave as your business legacy?
I want to change the way the world sleeps through the work of Harrison Spinks.
I’d also like to rid the world of chemically derived foam in mattresses which is unrecyclable and replace foam with more durable and comfortable micro springs and natural fillings.
What would you say is your biggest business achievement so far?
I feel that our biggest achievement is growing our own mattress fillings.
We grow and process over 30% of our own natural fillings on our farm in Yorkshire, breed our own sheep for their wool and grow acres and acres of hemp and flax.
When you are not running your business, what do you do to relax?
I love cars; tinkering with them, driving them. A few years ago, in 2016, I drove a Ford Escort from Peking in China to Paris in a rally.
Your biggest achievement outside of business?
My biggest achievement outside of the business is bringing up my family. My son Dan (23) is currently a buyer within the business and my daughter Emily (21) is autistic and a very talented artist.
What would you be doing if you weren’t running your business?
If I wasn’t running my business, I would be working within the IT or engineering industry, definitelysomething to do with inventing.
Visit the Harrison Spinks website here