Homeware firm expands with new seasonal products

Melanie Reynolds of Finance Yorkshire and Tristan Cowell of IC Innovations

Home and gift company IC Innovations is targeting a £3.5m turnover this year after expanding its product ranges to include key seasonal events.

The Sheffield-based business – backed by new investment from Finance Yorkshire – supplies garden, kitchen and gift products to high street multiples, major supermarkets and independent retailers.

A £50,000 Business Loan from Finance Yorkshire is providing the business with additional working capital to fund large orders from customers gearing up for Christmas 2016 and beyond.

Founder Tristan Cowell launched the company in 2005, initially supplying Christmas stock. More than a decade later, IC Innovations has added Valentines Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day ranges to its product portfolio.

In 2014 a funding package which included £50,000 from Finance Yorkshire enabled the company to purchase a historic, three-storey office building in Sheffield city centre.

IC Innovations employs 25 people and is projecting turnover of £3.5m in 2016-2017, up £1.5m on the previous year.

Alex McWhirter, Chief Executive of Finance Yorkshire, said: “Our early investment in IC Innovations gave the business the platform from which to grow and achieve its position today as an established business in Yorkshire which has created jobs and continues to trade strongly.”

Tristan said: “Moving into seasonal events, not just Christmas, has enabled us to extend our product range to new and existing customers who like the stability of the business in that we have bought our own building and have strength in the balance sheet.”

Another development for IC Innovations has been the move into branded licensing which has seen deals with BBC Gardeners’ World and BBC Good Food among other major contracts.

Tristan added: “This enables us to design products in partnership with successful brands which in turn helps drive sales through our customers. It also opens up huge export potential of well known, recognisable British brands to markets in the Far East and the US.”

Melanie Reynolds, Portfolio Executive at Finance Yorkshire said: “IC Innovations is a great success story built on entreprenuerial spirit and the drive to be innovative in its product offer to a broad range of retailers. The cross-selling of products to clients and the potential to export bode well for Tristan and his team.”

Since its inception, Finance Yorkshire has invested in more than 460 companies, enabling those businesses to increase their turnover by a collective £377 million and attract a further £273 million from private sector sources. Finance Yorkshire investment has helped those SMEs to create and safeguard more than 12,000 jobs in the region.

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, UK Government and the European Investment Bank. Finance Yorkshire is also supported by the Regional Growth Fund.

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire