ufurnish.com is the furniture and furnishings website that’s revolutionising the way we search and discover things for our home. ufurnish.com brings together the widest range of retailers – from 100+ high street names to smaller independents – all in one place, giving everyone the confidence that they’ve found the perfect item.
Our retail partners include well known high street brands such as John Lewis, Dunelm and Wayfair alongside amazing smaller independent retailers such as Grace & Grey and Abigail Ahern.
ufurnish.com does not sell the furniture, it directs consumers through to the furniture retailer website, where they complete the purchase. We operate in a similar way for consumers that Rightmove does in the real estate space, Skyscanner for flights and Lyst in the fashion category.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
ufurnish.com was inspired by my own personal journey of furnishing our first home. Trying to find the products in the market that I really wanted, in the right style, price, colour and function was a nightmare. I searched furniture website after furniture website but wanted to see the whole selection of furniture on offer across the entire market. “Why wasn’t there an aggregator?” I was repeatedly asking my husband.
Speaking with other people, I realised finding furniture and home furnishings is a lengthy process; and many of us suffer from ‘purchase paralysis’ as we become overwhelmed by the abundance of choice or consumed with our quest to find the perfect item. ufurnish.com solves this frustration, making the search journey simpler and more enjoyable by bringing together over 1,000,000 products from 100+ retailers in one place.
Now, you don’t need to trawl through lots of websites and traipse around stores to find the perfect pieces for your home. Consumers can purchase with confidence knowing that they have searched the entire market. Our recent research has shown that on average consumers spend 38 days searching for the perfect items of furniture.
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What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
1) Find a great co-founder – someone who is as passionate about the business idea as you are and someone who can entirely trust. I found my co-founder in my now-husband which has worked out really well as neither of us is ever let down when we cancel plans to work (which probably makes us a little sad!). My co-founder Ray has a different background and skill set that is complementary to mine, ideally you want a different skill set so you can divide and conquer tasks. This is where trust is key so you can let them go off and make decisions in other areas to progress the business as quickly as possible.
2) Network, network, network – During 2020, ufurnish.com has grown to 16 team members, from just two co-founders, at the start of 2020. 7 of our team we met through our network, not only avoiding recruitment costs but also ensuring they come with high recommendations from people we trust. Your network is the most valuable place to get advice from fellow business owners, your investors and other stakeholders. We raised our £1.8m seed investment round entirely from individual investors that we met through our network.
3) Seek out criticism and listen hard – while many people will tell you what you want to hear to your face, seek out those who disagree with you, listen to what they say and learn about risks you may have overlooked and find new opportunities from what they say. You want people who are not afraid to disagree with you. Have a network of advisors you can go to for advice and make sure these are not all “yes” people.
What can we hope to see from ufurnish.com in the future?
ufurnish.com has big plans for growth in 2021 and beyond. We will continue to add more retailers and products to the ufurnish.com offering, and we are constantly improving the search and discovery experience for our consumers. We review data and insight every day in our quest to deliver the best customer experience possible. We want to help everyone make their dream home a reality whether they are looking for sun loungers or conservatory furniture.
We also plan to expand to other markets in Europe as we have had many requests from customers in other markets to bring our solution to their country.