Wabi Home was started just three years ago by Víctor and Lara Beltrán, two brothers in their thirties, linked by family tradition to furniture and decoration. They decided to sell online their own design furniture, inspired by the wabi-sabi philosophy and handcrafted from wood. Their business has multiplied exponentially in record time, from a turnover of 40,000 euros in the first year to 3.2 million euros by the end of 2022. The enormous growth has led Wabi Home to seek financing solutions with Kaizen Consulting to consolidate and move forward with its spectacular plans for the future. CEO, Víctor Beltrán, tells us about it in this interview.
– You are a young company in the very competitive sector of furniture. How did you set out on the adventure of creating Wabi Home?
– We started operations in August 2019. My sister and I noticed that furniture shops sell a lot of styles, and we wanted to do something different. We have focused on a very specific style, a wooden piece of furniture based on the wabi-sabi philosophy, and 90% of it is an exclusive product designed by my sister. Using a natural material and handmade production, we obtain a product designed to last a long time that connects you with nature, brings warmth into the home, and promotes well-being through a minimalist and relaxed feel. We advise the customer before and after the purchase. This is how Wabi Home was born, selling only online.
– What is the manufacturing process like?
– We have a local partner in Indonesia who works exclusively with us, using traditional methods. We manufacture 65% of our production there using our designs. But we also work with local producers here in the Valencian Community for the other 35%, always making sure that the products are handmade. In our family, we have always had a traditional relationship with the sector. My great-grandfather and grandfather worked in basketry and my father was one of the first to import decorations from China. And now, us.
– The company was just a few months old when the pandemic hit. Was that a turning point?
– It was a positive turning point for our business because the pandemic boosted e-commerce and home furnishing and decoration purchases. We grew very quickly in the short time we had been in business. At that time, we could have started to sell and produce much more, but we decided that it was better not to run too much, to learn more about the business and logistics to continue to provide a good service and grow in an orderly way, with strong foundations.
– Do you use Kaizen Consulting to finance this growth?
– Yes, because e-commerce requires you to have a warehouse stock to pay for production in advance of the sale… Growing in our sector means that you have to invest a lot in the upstream before selling, it’s the only way. We are profitable from day one, but you need a financial backbone to move forward. We experienced significant growth. In the first year, we had a turnover of 40,000 euros, in 2020 we reached 650,000 euros, last year one and a half million euros and we expect to close 2022 with over 3.2 million euros. This business growth needs financial support and when you have been in business for years you realise that it’s essential to surround yourself with people who are specialists and better than you. This applies to the team as well as external collaborators. Hence why we turned to Kaizen Consulting to ensure that we were able to meet our funding needs.
– How have these needs been met?
– Everything went very well and, above all, was very quick. For me, as CEO, running the financial side became a huge burden that I couldn’t and shouldn’t devote as much time to as it required. With the support of Kaizen Consulting, we obtained in a month and a half the financing that would have taken me more than a year. We are very happy not only because of their knowledge of the banking and financial sector, but also how professional their team is, who is always supporting the client and manage to arouse the interest of financiers very quickly. They give you a first meeting right away, the process is efficient and the banks responded positively and very quickly. Without their support, you don’t have the connections and everything is slower and more complex.
– You have also started the internationalisation process.
– Our sales are 100% online, we started in Spain, and from November 2021 we will also sell in France. We decided to start there little by little with a trial, we detected good traction and since January we have incorporated French members to improve customer service and continue to climb. It has been complicated logistically and understanding the market and what the French consumer is like.
– What has the experience with Lanzadera been like?
– In September 2020, we started with Lanzadera. We were growing very fast and they have helped us, and continue to help us, to professionalise the business and lay the foundations. The mentoring with project managers has been very useful and when they offered us to continue as Lanzadera residents we were delighted to accept. We are still there and we will be at least until the end of the year. It’s a spectacular ecosystem for entrepreneurs.
– And what are the plans for the future?
– Our plans are to become leaders in the Spanish home sector. We are going to test whether it makes sense to open physical shops and go omnichannel. We have already seen that it makes sense in France and in Europe there are options… We are going to consider opening a physical shop and we will decide where to continue. We see ourselves with a presence all over Europe in 15 years with a strong e-commerce business and some physical shops that give us the opportunity to connect with customers. But now we have to strengthen our internal team as our team has grown from 4 people to 18 in one year. We will continue to grow, but we like to take it step by step. First, we will consolidate in France and then we will prepare the next strategy, and, of course, we will continue to count on Kaizen Consulting.