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Adapting to changing consumer behaviour – a small business story

Funding Stories

Adapting to changing consumer behaviour – a small business story

Updated: 8 December 2021

Att Pynta, a Scandinavian-inspired homeware brand, is one of many businesses that have had to adapt how they operate during the pandemic, adjusting to changing consumer behaviour as well various lockdowns and restrictions. Here, we caught up with Kai Price and Amanda Nelson, the Founders and Directors, to learn about how they’ve risen to new challenges, and how they’re using their Funding Circle Recovery loan to support growing demand.

Att Pynta’s story

What does your business do?

Att Pynta is a homeware brand that curates our collections from makers, designers and artisans across Scandinavia and the UK. We focus primarily on pieces that are timeless, sustainably produced and are made to last a lifetime.

We have a showroom in London that customers can visit and we also offer an interior design service. We sit down with our customers, talk through what they’re looking for and how we can help. We’ve tried to make our showroom into a bunch of little home sets so we can show people how they can achieve that look in their own homes.

Where did the name come from?

As I’m half Swedish and Amanda is Swedish, the name for the brand came from a term used in Scandinavia that means “to add decorative details to your home”. For example you might have your Easter pynta or your Christmas pynta.

How did the business come to be?

We were inspired by friends we had in Sweden who had these stunning houses with really beautiful decor, and we wanted to bring that over to the UK. Initially, we focused on curating pieces that would suit people who were renting, but as we’ve grown the brand, our vision has adapted with that. 

We now curate custom-made curtains and furniture from Scandinavian designers to create bespoke items. It’s not fast fashion or interiors — it’s about trying to offer something classic and design-led to give our customers something that will last a lifetime. We aim for pieces that are handmade or sustainably produced.

Adapting your business in the coronavirus pandemic

How has the pandemic affected your business?

It was really hard for everyone. As no one knew what was going on, at the start we were worried that customers would just stop spending money altogether. 

But then as things started to settle down again, I think we got quite lucky, because people started working from home more often, they started thinking about all those things they’d wanted to do with their home and orders ramped up again. I suppose because people weren’t spending money on going out or going on holiday, they finally had the money to do up their homes.

How have you adapted?

I think the pandemic made us be really open and transparent with our customers, so if there were any delays on orders, we’d be honest with them, and our customers were really understanding. We also started offering appointments over FaceTime so that we could talk through their needs and show them things from the showroom.

One of the biggest changes we made was to outsource to a warehouse and scale up our operations as we started experiencing a big influx of orders. This has been a game changer for us as we’re no longer tied to our little office and doing things ourselves.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

I think the biggest challenge has been consumer behaviour because it’s so hard to predict. In previous years, we could identify our busy periods and quiet periods, but consumer shopping habits have really changed during the pandemic and fluctuated with the latest news.

This made planning cash flow very difficult. We need cash coming in to pay for stock, so if people aren’t shopping, then the lack of cash flow becomes a big problem for us. 

Using a Government-backed Recovery loan to fund your business

What are you using your Government-backed Recovery loan for?

We’re using our loan to get more stock in and to help with cash flow and paying suppliers. We’re also looking at some new suppliers too, as well as funding some marketing.

Did you try to get funding elsewhere?

We looked into options elsewhere, but some wanted a percentage of your earnings, which worked out to be quite high, or it was too complex to apply. We chose Funding Circle because it had the best rate of interest and payment terms. We could also consolidate our previous loan with them and keep to just one monthly repayment. 

How do you rate your Funding Circle experience?

We really like that you guys specialise in loans for SMEs. It’s nice to take out finance through a company who are a specialist in that field — it’s not like going to a bank. Our Account Manager was really responsive, so it was great to have someone I could just call and ask if I had any questions. The process was really accessible. 

Kai & Amanda took a Government-backed loan of £25,001 for working capital. To see how you could benefit from affordable finance, check your eligibility in 30 seconds today

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