Jarrow's Funky Chunky Furniture celebrates £1.6million turnover in record year for company

A Jarrow-based furniture manufacturer has achieved a record turnover of £1.6million in its sixth year of business.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 6:59 pm
Kevin Johnston, centre, and his team at Funky Chucky Furniture, from left Jordan Chatten, Rebecca Gordon, Sophie O’Mahony, Simon Davies, James Brand and Abbie Nulty.

From a cottage industry start-up in 2013, solid wood rustic furniture and shelves business Funky Chunky Furniture now has its own manufacturing facility and continues to grow.

The firm achieved an estimated net profit of £149,000, and gross profit of £626,958, in the last financial year and has seen turnover increased by 31% – allowing it to take on five new members of staff and launch new furniture collections, created by its own product designer.

Managing director Kevin Johnston founded the business in his garage.

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Kevin Johnston, managing director of Funky Chunky Furniture.

He 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 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 also has an on-site showroom at its Jarrow workshop, to allow local customers to view larger items prior to purchase.

Funky Chunky Furniture has been supported by South Tyneside Council throughout its development.

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, the 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.”