South Tyneside's Funky Chunky Furniture turns over £4million and doubles workforce in lockdown success story

A South Tyneside furniture company is celebrating its most successful year yet, which has seen the firm double its workforce during lockdown.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 11:10 am

Thanks to its strong online presence, Funky Chunky Furniture has seen its biggest growth to date in the last 12 months, with turnover more than doubling to over £4.1million.

The popularity of its handmade solid wood furniture, wooden shelves and mantels, which it sells to customers across the UK, means it’s been able to double its workforce to 48 members of staff now employed at its Jarrow workshop in Viking Industrial Park.

The company was founded by former South Tyneside Council joinery apprentice Kevin Johnston in 2013 who, recognising the rise in demand for floating shelves and mantels, began an online business from his garage.

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Over the years it’s steadily built a customer base, allowing the company to grow from a garage to a small workshop to a large 1,200sqm workshop in Jarrow.

Lockdown, however, has played a key role in its huge growth due to the increase in demand for online shopping, as well as people wanting to improve and accessorise their personal space as they spend more time at home.

Kevin Johnston, managing director of Funky Chunky Furniture Ltd said: “The past 12 months have been challenging for us, as they have for so many businesses. But, with challenges often comes opportunities too.

“Last summer, after the first lockdown of 2020, it became apparent that consumers were investing in home improvements and furnishings, buying online more than ever. For us, that trend is still very much evident and we’ve continued to see sales grow pretty much every month since then.

Mantels are one of the most popular items at Funky Chunky Furniture

“It’s a fantastic achievement to double the business’ turnover, but I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve continued to create sustainable jobs for the local workforce. We’re committed to operating in South Tyneside, and as the business grows so too do the opportunities to join our team.”

Funky Chunky Furniture’s leadership team is now looking to the future and ways to capitalise on the ongoing growth. The business is looking to expand its workshop and team further, enabling it to introduce new furniture lines as well as increase the volume of production for its shelving and mantels.

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Funky Chunky Furniture has proved a lockdown success story
Kevin Johnston, MD, Funky Chunky Furniture Ltd