With an ethos of putting a funky design twist on small household appliances, husband and wife Joe and Sadie Sillett set up The Funky Appliance Company in 2016, based in West Sussex.
The business originally started life as The Funky Iron Company, with Sadie and Joe designing a unique looking electric steam iron. The Funky Iron idea was born from the couple being avid ironers – thanks, in part, to the couple’s three children as there was always a lot of ironing to be done in their household!
Yet Joe and Sadie were always unimpressed with many of the handheld electric steam irons and steam generators they had owned over the years, which would either leak water everywhere or simply fail too early. It was during a trip to the local hardware store to buy a new ironing board that Sadie mentioned something about ironing board covers being garish but not funky, and Joe responded, “I tell you what aren’t funky … irons!”
In terms of starting this business, Joe was hugely 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.
Following Joe’s lightbulb moment and some initial research the pair 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.
Joe and Sadie have had four successful equity crowdfunding campaigns on Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs. This has been a fantastic way to launch the business and gain an army of supporters.
The Funky Iron was launched in December 2018 and has since been followed by the Funky Kettle and Funky Toaster which hit the shelves in Spring 2021, all of which have created a rapidly growing Funky fan base.
Interestingly, the social media channel that has worked the best for their business is LinkedIn, which has played a large role in the company’s history to date. It has brought investors to the business, spiked retailers’ interest, it has led to many international distribution approaches as well and being a fantastic platform for communicating with the business community.
The biggest lesson they’ve learnt so far as entrepreneurs is to keep going and have total faith and belief in your abilities. The very few who make it really big are the ones who showed relentless determination and focus with the ability to keep bouncing back and learning.
As for future plans, Sadie and Joe are looking forward to introducing a Funky Microwave, a Funky Air Fryer and a Funky Mixer next and when they do, they will continue to insist that all packaging for all products be made from recycled materials and be recyclable.
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’.