Meet the interior design business pinning their hopes on playful products
A side story of founder Matthew Gilbert’s, interior design business, Animaro. A company who got their business off the ground with a Kickstarter campaign.
Tell us what Animaro is and what your business offers?
We combine art and engineering to create playful products for the home. So far we have created a range of lighting and have just moved into creating clocks also. And there’s plenty more ideas in the pipeline, so watch this space.
What was it that inspired you to set-up your own business?
The desire to create my own designs and set them free into the world. I always have so many ideas and wanted to see if other people would enjoy them as well. I also wanted the freedom that comes with having one's own business.
Do you think an Entrepreneur ISA and a Small Business Savings Allowance would have helped aid your company’s growth in the early stages?
The Entrepreneur ISA would have been very useful in raising capital at a pre-launch stage, while I was still in full-time or part-time employment. The Small Business Savings Allowance would certainly help us grow in the first few years.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
Establishing small-scale manufacturing which is cost-effective and is able to grow with demand and managing cash flow when dealing with multiple suppliers and sales channels.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Do not spend huge amounts of time planning. Start with something low-risk and easy. Then put it out into the marketplace to learn from it. Continuously tweak and refine the offering, then later write a more detailed plan and do a proper launch.
What is your proudest achievement to date as a company?
A successful Kickstarter campaign and lots of happy customers with the first product we launched.
Matthew Gilbert is the founder of Animaro.