Women in Business Award 2015
Startups Awards 2015 @ Vinopolis, London ***Pic by David McHugh***
Start-up name: Swoon Editions
Founders: Debbie Williamson and Brian Harrison
Started in: 2012
Based in: London
Business description: Online retailer of hand-crafted quality furniture for affordable prices
Swoon Editions’ ambition to offer quality, hand-crafted furniture at affordable prices and the success it has achieved to-date helped to see co-founder Debbie Williamson awarded the Women in Business Award at the 2015 Startups Awards.
Founded in 2012 by Williamson and Brian Harrison, Swoon Editions launches a limited quantity of four new designs every day, all hand-crafted and typically priced at under £500, with only the most popular designs going on to be produced in greater quantities.
This allows the company to keep stock levels low and efficiency high, a killer combination which has seen it reach triple digit growth and employ 58 staff across London, Vietnam, India and China. The appeal of the concept also translated into a £4m Series A funding round from Index Ventures following a £1.2m seed investment led by Octopus Ventures.
Its approach has seen Swoon Editions community of customers, known as ‘Insiders’, grow rapidly and benefits designers who are not bound by seasonal timings, trends or aesthetics.
Williamson was in great company with Suzanne Brock’s family-run raw pet food company Nutriment in second place, and Apprentice alumna Susan Ma’s vegan skincare business Tropic Skincare in third.
The other Women in Business finalists were: beauty e-commerce platform MyShowcase, started by Nancy Cruickshank; comfortable designer knickers brand Cheekfrills, set up by Katie Canvin and Lily Fortescue; and Emily Forbes’ smartphone filmmaking platform Seenit.