This week I’m excited to introduce Armadillo Sun to my Parents in Business series. Here Caroline shares her business story about how she created and set-up her business designing and creating beautiful outdoor pieces of furniture and accessories including bean bags and outdoor cushions. More recently Caroline has launched a bean bag for your iPad or tablet, which (at the moment) could be really useful for home schooling, or reading a recipe whilst your cooking, as it’s an ideal size to sit on your worktop.
I would love for you to have a read of Caroline’s business story below…..
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
My name is Caroline, I live in a converted cow shed in the Kent countryside with my husband and business partner Paul, and our dogs and horses. We have 4 children, and they are the main reason I started out in interior design because I wanted a job that fit around them.
My company, Armadillo Sun makes luxury bean furniture that works both indoors and outdoor due to the unique and revolutionary fabric that we use. Our fabric is fade, mold and mildew resistant and on top of that is wipeable! So no need to worry about sticky fingers or a spilt glass of red. We have a wide range of fabrics that suits every style preference. We also hand make all our products here in the UK. Our range goes from cushions all the way up to our modular monaco range, something to fit every outdoor space no matter the size.
What motivated you to set up your own business?
I had my own business making bespoke soft furnishings and around 10 years ago, I noticed a lot of clients were asking me for outdoor cushions and things like that – this was a time when you couldn’t really get outdoor fabrics in this country. I was on holiday in Arizona in the States and I was introduced to solution-dyed acrylic. I decided I needed to source it and make it available here, because the problem we have in this country is that we have a lot of rain. I wanted to meet the great need for garden furniture and accessories that could be kept outside all the time.
How do you balance or juggle your business around family commitments?
Our children have all grown now, so I have grandchildren running around! it’s just my husband and our pets now at home. But when the kids were little I always made my career work around family commitments. I chose interior design so that I could be at home when it felt most important. My family will always come first for me. In non covid times I help my kids with school pick up and now work around the grandchildren.
What do you view as your biggest success since setting up your business?
I was on the front cover of the Telegraph Saturday supplement in September 2020 which felt like a huge achievement and one I am really proud of.
What are your top tips for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Believe in yourself, listen to people who have done it before. Be prepared to work your socks off, it is so rewarding so definitely go for it!
Thank you so much Caroline for sharing your amazing business story, I have really enjoyed reading your story and featuring you and Armadillo Sun as part of my series.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Home with CMB, Totter + Tumble, and Etta Loves.