The Funky Appliance Company started life as The Funky Iron Company in May 2016 with husband and wife, Joe and Sadie Sillett designing a unique looking electric steam iron. The Funky Iron, was launched in December 2018 and has since been followed by the Funky Kettle and Funky Toaster which launched in January 2021, all of which have created a rapidly growing Funky fan base.
Currently delivering nationwide our intention is to be selling internationally in key countries by 2022. Based in West Sussex, the Funky team are very excited about the future and are passionate about creating products with simple to use and reliable functionality, along with uniquely stylish looks, ‘designed for performance, styled for life’.
1.Can you explain to us how the idea for your business came to you and how the whole process kicked off?
Being avid ironers, we were constantly disappointed and unimpressed with many of the handheld electric steam irons and steam generators we had owned over the years which would either leak water everywhere or simply fail too early; so when on a trip to the local hardware store to buy a new ironing board Sadie mentioned something about ironing board covers being garish but not funky, Joe responded “I tell you what aren’t funky … irons!” The Funky Iron idea was born.
Following Joe’s bright idea and some initial research we excitedly realised that there was a gap in the marketplace for a super stylish steam iron which not only looked great and fitted in with the current retro/modern aesthetics of other household appliances but did what an iron should do, iron clothes and fabrics fantastically well.
2.What were the biggest challenges you faced when bringing the idea to market?
With no previous experience of the small domestic appliance market, Joe excelled at selling the idea of our first product to investors to enable us to raise the initial funds for the launch of the Funky Iron, this was probably the hardest part. Raising finance has continued to be an ever present, time consuming and critical part of the business journey.
3.Where do you think good ideas come from and what inspires you?
In terms of starting this business, Joe was greatly inspired by an evening listening to a talk given by Nick Jenkins (Founder of Moonpig.com) and Mike Clare (Founder of Dreams Beds). Less than a week after hearing their inspirational tales of knowing when to go ahead with an idea and have the belief to turn it into a business, Joe came up with the Funky Iron idea.
4.What are your company’s values and why are these things important to the business?
We aim to design and manufacture beautiful looking products, which are designed to be easy to use and unique in their looks. Products for style conscious consumers.
5.What is next for your brand?
We are looking forward to introducing a Funky Microwave, a Funky Air Fryer and a Funky Mixer next and when we do, we will continue to insist that all packaging for all products be made from recycled materials and be recyclable.
6. What one piece of advice would you have for someone just starting out on their business journey or currently going through a setback?
More than one piece of advice actually – you will need infinite passion, patience, determination and drive; follow your gut instincts; have an end goal in mind, dream big; don’t let other people’s negative opinions deter you from that dream; employ like-minded souls who understand the passion to join your team; and be tight with every penny no matter how big your company becomes.
7.What resources and tools do you use to remain productive or up-to-date on industry trends etc?
We follow LinkedIn very closely and also make sure that we keep an eye on trends and new ideas on various industry websites and through leading industry publications.