The Yorkshire designer behind a new luxury bedding brand has raised £100,000 from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, to help expand her business.
Sophie Platts’ company Floks specialises in sustainable bedding including duvets, pillows and mattress toppers, all made from British wool and organic cotton and manufactured in Yorkshire. Having begun selling her products online two years ago, she now supplies John Lewis and is in talks with a number of well-known department stores.
The company’s revenue has been growing rapidly over the past year. The funding will enable the York-based company to step up its marketing campaign and develop new products to expand the range.
Sophie has over 15 years’ experience working with luxury brands, most recently with kitchenware company Joseph Joseph. The launch of Floks resulted from her own inability to sleep and was inspired by her two Yorkshire grandfathers – one a farmer and the other who worked in textiles.
Sophie, who is the company’s Managing Director, said: “As a product designer, I always dreamed of having my own business, and in the depths of lockdown I had a lightbulb moment. I’m a poor sleeper and often wake up due to overheating but I discovered that wool bedding helps overcome this and has many other advantages.
“I realised that I could design and make a fully sustainable UK-grown and made product that would support two important British industries at the same time – farming and manufacturing – and help give people a better night’s sleep.”
David Wright of Mercia added: “Sophie has a wealth of experience in designer homewares. Floks builds on Yorkshire’s wool trade heritage and fills a gap in the market for sustainable luxury bedding that promotes healthy sleep. The funding will help her to expand the business and establish the brand as a market leader in premium British wool bedding.”
Debbie Sorby, Senior Manager at British Business Bank, said: “The investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will be a significant boost for Sophie and her company Floks. The business began as a simple solution to an uncomfortable night’s sleep, and has been transformed into a business supplying some of the UK’s biggest brands using British products. The investment is an example of how NPIF funding can create British businesses that offer high quality and sustainable, products.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.