Meet the co-founder of Bedfolk

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Bedfolk is a direct-to-consumer comfort brand backed by leading UK investors. They help their busy customers rest better by providing high quality bedding, homewares and wind down essentials. 

Jo and Nick James found themselves overwhelmed with choices when shopping for new bed & bath products after purchasing their first home together. They thought, “Shouldn’t shopping for soft and comfy things make you feel – er – comfortable, rather than overwhelmed by choice?” So they did something about it. 

Bedfolk launched in May 2018 from their Cotswolds home and has grown to £7.5 million in sales, with over 30,000 customers. They’ve amassed a growing community of 150,000 ‘comfort addicts’ and have received over 3,500 five star reviews! 

Now raising on Seedrs, it’s an exciting time for Bedfolk. We spoke to Jo to learn about their mission to cancel the culture of busyness in this interview.

You’ve had an extensive career in marketing, could you tell us about your career before founding Bedfolk?

I (Jo) cut my teeth working in luxury interiors selling high end decorative antiques to interior designers and private clients. Selling high-value items, for many thousands of pounds, really taught me the importance of product quality, exemplary service, a strong brand, and really high quality imagery, which are all things that I’ve tried to put at the heart of Bedfolk. 

Bedfolk is taking a stand against the culture of busyness! How would you describe your customer(s)? 

Our customers are busy people!  They are typically over 30 years old, often with demanding jobs and children. Bedfolk’s aim is to help them elevate the limited time that they do have to rest, by creating premium quality wind down essentials. Think super soft bedding, ridiculously comfortable duvets and pillows, and the most luxurious bath products.

Could you tell us about some of your biggest achievements to date? 

Absolutely! Some key highlights for us have been:

  • Reaching our first £1m in sales, and then our first £5m of sales
  • Seeing Bedfolk mentioned in heritage publications such as Vogue, Elle Decor, and the Sunday Times
  • Launching new products including our bath, duvet & pillow, and baby collections
  • Hiring a team and seeing people develop and grow within their roles
  • Moving into our new warehouse, getting a fork lift truck, and feeling like a proper business!

How do you plan to create a scalable and profitable business model?

We’re really focused on building a high quality, profitable business. For us, a lot of it comes down to product – if we keep launching high quality products then our customers will keep coming back. We get amazing reviews and our customers love what we’re doing. As a result, that is supported by a strong brand, a best-in-class marketing strategy, all whilst keeping our operations lean.

What do you plan to do with the money you raise? 

We’ll be using the capital raised to invest in three key areas:

  1. In Product: by expanding our range to include Bedfolk Baby, Loungewear, and lots of other soft & comfy things. 
  2. In People: by building a best-in-class team including hires in marketing
  3. In Brand: by inspiring our community with high quality content and investing in the user journey and website experience.

What do you love to do in your free time? 

We relocated from London to the Cotwsolds to start Bedfolk, so we try to get out into the countryside, hiking or biking, or enjoying a pub lunch! I’m an avid reader, and Nick’s a sporting enthusiast, and we’ve got a 1 year old daughter who keeps us busy!

If you weren’t building Bedfolk, what do you think you’d be doing? 

Nick and I have always enjoyed working together outside of our day jobs – we’ve renovated a few properties, and used to buy & sell mid-century furniture when I worked in luxury interiors. So probably another business of some kind!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far building Bedfolk?

That a few great people can transform how the business operates. We’ve not got every hire right, but when we have it’s really created a step change and freed the two of us up to focus on new things.

Bedfolk’s mission is to make a positive impact on the quality of life of their customers. We’re excited to present this opportunity to investors. Visit their campaign page here to learn more.

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