An entrepreneurial duo has put their buying power to work by forming their own business. Seasoned buyers Paul Johnson and Andrew Smith formed Crimson Bear, a firm that sources high-end radiators and heating solutions for the home from across the world.
Paul and Andrew planted the business on the premises of a freight company in Cross Hills, near Skipton. The space was chosen for the on-site warehouse facilities and flexibility for the growing business.
With a wealth of knowledge and contacts in the industry, the pair approached the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) where Investment Manager John Hall arranged finance for initial stock purchases.
Paul’s career as a buyer in the Trade and Home Improvement industry allowed him to see a gap in the market for high quality and unique radiators for the home.
After persistence in connecting with large players in the market, the Crimson Bear name has gained traction and works closely with B&Q and Victoria Plum bathrooms, supplying part of their range.
With positive retailer feedback from their range and growing sales, Paul and Andrew, with their 3 existing employees felt the strain of growing demand.
In response they employed apprentices, Teona Gott and Stacy Black under Office Manager Joanna Johnson.
“We don’t know what we would have done without them” Andrew said. “We also see the value it brings to them, getting to know the ins and outs of the business and visiting suppliers, as well as dealing with customers daily.”
“You need to know the people and acquire the skills” Paul reflected. “From there you need to keep the business flexible and constantly ask the customer what they want.”
“Paul and Andrew’s expertise has created a tremendous business” said John Hall, of BEF. “Their growth so far has exceeded expectation and I would expect their business to continue to strengthen and develop in the years ahead.”
“The initial cash from BEF and the support given by John was a springboard for us, we really don’t know how we would have got here without it.” said Paul.