A 31-year-old entrepreneur based in Gloucestershire has revealed that his online bedding and homeware business has made close to half a million pounds since launch and during lockdown (or should we say snuggle down).
Experienced digital marketeer, Lewis Lawson, who moved from London to Uley with his partner earlier this year, started his online business, P&B Home, at the beginning of 2019. Working from home, he began selling novelty and animal-inspired bedding, which sold so well that he has extended his range to sell a wider selection of bedding and homewares, including throws, cushions and sheets.
During lockdown, Lewis’s online sales grew by 233 per cent compared to the same time last year, with customers buying bedding, throws and cushions to stay cosy at home during the pandemic.
“When lockdown was announced, I immediately thought this could be terrible – people will pull back on their spending, but it was quite the opposite. I thought consumer behaviour would change completely but it didn’t at all,” he said.
When P&B Home launched, Lewis used a business model called “dropshipping”. When orders were placed, his suppliers sent the goods directly to the customer. But deliveries were slow, taking seven working days to arrive from the various eBay shops that he worked with.
Lewis said: “The suppliers couldn’t keep up with the demand so I had to find a better solution with a much faster delivery time, so customers could receive their order within 2-3 working days, or even the next day.”
When Lewis ordered a large consignment of duvet covers in advance from UK textile suppliers, he switched to using a Milton Keynes-based fulfilment centre to handle orders. This has given him the scope and control required to take his business to the next level.
“Since we began fulfilling all orders with our own stock from the Milton Keynes warehouse, customer satisfaction has skyrocketed and we have received many 5 star reviews, which I’m incredibly pleased about,” he said.
Lewis, whose father was in the army, made an early start in business. As a schoolboy he launched a website from his bedroom to promote unsigned bands and music artists from across the world. After graduating from university more than nine years ago, he began his career in digital marketing, working in fashion marketing for brands such as AllSaints and Yumi. He and his partner recently moved from London to Gloucestershire seeking a more relaxed lifestyle.
Total sales since launching at P&B Home are more than £413,000, including more than £106,000 of sales since lockdown.
So what next for Lewis?: “I want to grow the team, and extend the product range to include more homeware goods, including kitchen and garden items.”
At the moment, given his digital marketing expertise, Lewis is able to focus on his product winners. “Once I find a product that works I am able to scale that heavily. On the customer side we want to make sure we have faster delivery, which I think more consumers are now expecting and not enough online businesses deliver.
“We also want to bring a sense of fun to the business and have more new products launching next week.”