Delighted to be featured in Bradford District Support Programme for inspiring independents in West Yorkshire.
Wharfedale Interiors based in Ilkley are a small independent furniture business that designs, manufactures, and installs fitted and bespoke home furniture.
Owner Rhys Boven took over the business in January 2020, just two months before the country went into full lockdown and retail businesses like his were forced to close their doors.
The business suffered 10 weeks of non-trading and their showroom was closed for over 9 months of the year. Unable to allow customers onto their premises, which for a business that relies on walk-ins and the customer seeing the products in person, provided some huge challenges.
Rhys and the team at Wharfedale Interiors managed to adapt their business through changing their messaging and targeting their efforts at the products which were now in higher demand due to changing lifestyles. More people are now home-working, home-schooling and generally spending more time at home. Their service now includes products such as lounge media units for those spending more entertainment time at home, home offices for those working at home long term, and under-stair wardrobes to create more space.
Wharfedale Interiors and many furniture companies are traditionally set up for walk-ins and the physical viewing of their products, Covid-19 has hugely impacted this and they have therefore had to embrace online, as a result, they now gain 65% of their business enquiries online.
As well as overcoming the challenges that continue to trade in 2020 has presented, Rhys and the team took this time to take a step back and take a strategic look at their business. They have refreshed and renewed their business objectives and as a result, invested in the business behind the scenes too. They now have a new trading name, branding, showroom signage and new website and have massively invested in social media.
This is an inspiring example of a small business that faced huge challenges at the start of the year but also sought out the opportunities that were presented and adapted their business accordingly. In turn, this saw the business grow from a team of 3 to a team of 12, achieved growth of 43% this year and saw the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Ilkley to enable them to expand further.