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Member Profile – Funky Chunky Furniture

ACID member Funky Chunky Furniture have a stand-out and original style in their designs. Furniture built with quality and durability, customers can feel assured and safe they are getting furniture which makes a lifestyle statement and a lifetime commitment.

In our latest feature, Funky Chunky Furniture discuss what makes them the trusted brand they are; how the company started; what is most important to them in the design and manufacture process, and how important it is to have IP strategies for your business. They diligently protect their intellectual property to ensure their designs do not get infringed. Funky Chunky Furniture talk about the importance of being a part of the ACID community, and how it strengthens their own IP understanding and strategy.

Funky Chucky Furniture are exceptional furniture designers, who know just how important it is to protect their intellectual property. Their use of the ‘Member of ACID’ logo is expertly utilised as a strong deterrent against copyists. They have a smaller logo and copyright statement at the bottom of their homepage, which then links to a dedicated page with an expanded version and statement (see picture 6).

Funky Chunky Furniture’s new Autumn Winter 2021 collection sees the furnituremaker launch its first solid oak furniture range, Salters Oak. Inspired by mid-century and Scandinavian design, Salters Oak celebrates the beauty of solid oak timber with its simple lines and tactile curves. Like all its furniture, the Salters Oak collection is designed and made in its workshop in the North East of England and comes with a 25 year guarantee.

1. Funky Chunky Furniture creates solid wood furniture for real life, with a design aesthetic that takes inspiration from the beauty of solid timbers and timeless design styles. Can you tell us a little about how the company developed and the driving force behind its success as innovators in furniture design?

Funky Chunky Furniture was founded in 2013 by Kevin Johnston, a skilled joiner, who spotted a gap in the home furnishings market for handcrafted solid wood furniture. After converting the garage of his former home into a small workshop, Funky Chunky Furniture was created.

Fast forward 8 years, and Funky Chunky Furniture now employs over 50 people, including its own product designer and dedicated marketing and design team, as well as a workshop of skilled craftspeople who bring the designs to life.

The focus of their design is to create handmade furniture that’s as functional as it is stylish. It has to be beautiful, to chime with their brand aesthetic, and be a piece of furniture that can be at the heart of their customers’ homes for years to come.

The combination of the design ideas, talent of their product designer, the practical knowledge and skill of their joiners and craftspeople ensures all their furniture designs stay true to these principles, from concept through the design process and into production.

2. Why do you think Funky Chunky Furniture is an award-winning and desired brand, and continues to thrive in such a competitive market?

You’re right. It is a competitive marketplace, but there’s always a space for a brand that’s true to its roots and creates an honest and undeniable product. They’ve always focused on doing what they do and doing it well. They’ve stayed true to their brand values.

Their marketing department works hard at conveying our brand. They look at ways to tell consumers the story behind the furniture they’re considering buying – where it comes from, who designed it, and how it’s made.

That’s important, because consumers increasingly want to know more about the products they’re buying. They want reassurance that the items they’re introducing into their homes are what they say they are. Funky Chunky Furniture can offer that, and more – a really compelling back story.

3. The Funky Chunky Furniture brand is synonymous with quality, which is durable but also makes a stand-out impression with style. Such a distinctive brand identity means Funky Chunky Furniture is a leader not a follower. Good design is often copied. When you have come across infringements, how have you dealt with them?

They take any infringements very seriously, and they proceed rigorously against anyone who seeks to copy their designs. The distinctive designs are registered with ACID’s IP data bank, so that they have documentation to back up any infringements they have to pursue.

4. Copying culture is an unfortunate but undeniable aspect of design in the UK, what is your message about this culture, to those who perpetuate it?

Some say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. We don’t agree. Imagine how incredibly varied and exciting our industry would be if everyone brought their own ideas to life, rather than imitating others!

5. Designing beautiful furniture is at the heart of Funky Chunky Furniture’s design principles; how do you inspire your people to persistently attain high standards and how important do you think this is for the future of such a trusted and respected British family company?

Funky Chunky Furniture was started by a former apprentice who went on to start his own joinery business before moving into furniture manufacture. So, we know how transformational training and personal development can be, for both the business and the individual. It’s a real focus, across all areas of Funky Chunky Furniture.

Alongside that there are quality control procedures at every stage of design and production that ensure the quality of the furniture.

All their furniture has a 25-year guarantee. It’s a commitment to the customers, demonstrating that the focus is on designing and making exceptional furniture that’ll be part of their lives for many years to come.

6. Under the latest IP Act, we have criminal provisions for intentional Registered design infringement against the infringing company but also for individual directors. Do you believe that if these criminal provisions are extended to unregistered designs infringements, it will become more of a deterrent?

Anything that criminalises an action will create a deterrent for some individuals. To what extent that law is enforced will also have an impact.  

7. What do you feel ACID’s achievements have been and what could we do in the future to further raise awareness about IP theft?

As a member of ACID we have found your resources and advice invaluable. It’s not-for-profit organisations, such as ACID, that have the ability to campaign for effective change to laws on behalf of their members and the industries they represent.

Funky Chunky Furniture

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