Local bespoke furniture maker is delighted with the help he received

An Outer Hebrides-based furniture manufacturer has been able to upgrade its workshop and expand its offering after receiving over £4,000 of funding, following Business Gateway support.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 11:09 am
Updated Thursday, 25th February 2021, 11:09 am
John Groom's business is going from strength to strength

Located in the Isle of Lewis, Heb Fitted Furniture began as a passion project in an unused spare room, where business owner John Groom identified a gap in the market for a made-to-measure furniture service in the local area.

The business manufactures and installs affordable bespoke shelving and cupboards to create a fully fitted look in awkward places around the home, where standard furniture or shop-bought units do not fit.

Prior to launching in July last year, John approached Business Gateway for start-up support with an end goal of improving his workspace. After John’s adviser identified funding opportunities, Heb Fitted Furniture was awarded a £2,500 grant through the Outer Hebrides Young Entrepreneurs Start-up Scheme (OHYESS), which is delivered by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Business Gateway service and funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Business Gateway also helped John secure an interest-free Comhairle loan of £2,000 and provided advice on his business plan.

The funding allowed John to purchase a wide range of tools and equipment that have elevated his services and improved his workshop. Thanks to the newly upgraded workspace, Heb Fitted Furniture can provide a wide range of solutions to fit any room in the house, from a home-office to a utility room makeover. With an increasing demand for porch, bedrooms and utility room furniture thanks to people spending more at home, John is now in the best position to offer his services.

Owner of Heb Fitted Furniture, John, commented: “Without the advice and support from Business Gateway, I wouldn’t have secured the necessary funding to transform my shed into a functional workplace. The new equipment and improved workshop have allowed me to design a new range of bespoke furniture that simply is not available on the high street.

“Starting a business in the middle of a pandemic was certainly a risk, and while I’ve had to navigate various restrictions during a key period of growth, Business Gateway’s guidance gave me a real confidence boost to start a business in these uncertain times.”

Fiona Chisholm, Business Adviser, Business Gateway, commented: “As part of Business Gateway’s start-up services support package, we were able to offer advice and support to help John develop a robust business plan and provide routes to accessible funding. This enabled John to upgrade his workspace, and expand his services, enabling his growth.

“John’s passion was infectious from the very beginning. The business is unique and I am sure this will ensure he continues to attract customers, especially as we all continue to navigate challenges around home learning and working. We look forward to continue working with John on his venture, as we look to identify further areas for potential growth.”

To find out how Business Gateway can help your business, visit https://www.bgateway.com/