Business Name and what it does:
FLOVED is multifunctional bed that can be easily transformed from a two-seater-sofa or single bed into a double bed; with it’s unique and patent-registered folding and rotating movement the conversion into a double bed is so easy, that it only takes a few seconds, and it’s also very convenient that you can convert it from a sofa to a bed on your own and you don’t need 4 hands like you do with conventional stacking beds. And it is on castors, so it can be turned around and moved before opening it.
It is also chic, solid and definitely high-quality, made for a decades-long lasting relationship, it will survive various moves, and can so be on someone’s side from his studies at University till decades later still decorating his study room, serving as a guest bed in the family’s home. The design convinces with urban style. With high-quality slatted frames and individual mattresses (three different degrees of firmness), FLOVED meets the highest demands for restful sleep.
Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business:
The idea for FLOVED was born back in October 2015. The founder of the innovative sofa bed was just setting up the new study in his Munich apartment and was looking for a way to make the most out of the small room. In just 10 square meters of floor space, there needed to be room for a desk, a sofa and a place for visitors to sleep. And all this with the requirement that the room did not look too cluttered.
The desk was quickly found, but the bed/sofa combination was a headache, especially since he had very specific ideas:
In principle, there should only be a single bed in the already small study, which takes up little space and can be used as a seat at the same time. However, when two people come to visit, this single bed should be able to be converted into a double bed in just a few simple steps.
So far so good… such pieces of furniture can already be found in the market under various names such as sofa bed, bed sofa and permanent sleeper. But while most sofa beds are comfortable to sit on, the sleeping surface is always a poor compromise.
By now, the founder was tired of compromising. He wanted a sofa bed that came with a slatted frame and a full mattress, so it could be used not only as a place to sit and a guest bed, but also as a full bed in the long term, with no restrictions on laying comfort or back health.
And whether it was a Scandinavian furniture giant or an expensive designer name, he just couldn’t find the kind of sofa bed he wanted.
Other single and double fold-out bed combinations also have the disadvantage that they open up as beds up against the wall, making it very difficult for at least one person to get into the bed.
Finding more and more problems with conventional sofa beds, he finally decided to build the “perfect” bed that would meet all his requirements himself.
Using natural wood, he made two superimposed bed frames with a practical drawer and slatted base. He bought some accessories such as bearings for the axles and had the axles welded by a locksmith in the suburbs of Munich. He set to work in the attic and screwed everything together.
As a single bed, the two mattresses with their slatted frames where designed to be directly under each other.
In order to turn it into a double bed with a laying surface of 65 x 80 inch in just a few steps, he developed a unique folding and rotating movement, which he subsequently registered as a patent.
Thanks to this innovative mechanism, he succeeded in folding the two bed parts connected with hinges quite simply side by side, and at the same time the mattress, fastened on the slatted frame, “flips over”, that is: the unit from the upper mattress and the slatted frame is turned 180 degrees around its own axis, so that the sofa surface always remains horizontally directed upward during the folding movement.
In addition, he wanted to make the sofa bed accessible from both sides, which means that it should be possible to turn it 90 degrees into the room. To make this movement possible, he placed the bed on four practical casters with breaks.
He then used the space created under the folded-out sofa bed to store, for example, the suitcases of visitors.
The challenges the business/market is facing:
The list of challenges when setting up a new business is long. So we can only mention a few highlights the founder and his team had to go through:
– The first producer could not meet the expectations in terms of production cost, after almost three years R&D collaboration and producing a bunch of prototypes together. So a new supplier had be identified who was willing to take the project over. It was found, but almost a 1000 miles away, which made further collaboration even more challenging and travel-time intensive.
– The prices of wood raise up over the last three to four years, at times you could consider yourself lucky, if you would be able to purchase the most important raw material in the first place! Production was normally reserved for customers with high demand and already decade lasting relationships with the production companies, not a good time for a start-up to reserve small quantities, and then even to negotiate the price.
– Transportation cost doubled during the course of one year, and logistic space (on the shelf) was getting rare. Floved had to change it storage facility after a months notice period in summer 2022, since another customer wanted to expend is current storage capacity in the warehouse. Of course, who is the first customer being “through out”: the new start.-up!
The opportunities the business/market is facing:
It is evident, that everybody needs a bed to sleep in, together with eating probably the most basic human need! So there will always be demand, in good times and in bad times. The market for beds in the US immense, estimations show that up to 20 Mio. Units are sold per year. Of course, that includes “special beds” such as hospital beds etc. but still the size is impressive. Now, not every situation is suitable for a flexible solution like FLOVED, if you have the space, for example a large bedroom, where you can fit a full size queen or even king size bed, then you should do it, but there are more and more occasions, where a more flexible solution makes more sense: in student homes, in small studios, in the study room, which should at the same time also serve as a bed room…
Generally, there is an ongoing tendency of making living work on small surfaces: The cities are growing, more people live in urban environment and the apartments in the center become smaller and smaller. Flexible solutions are required to maximize the usage of the available space, during the week, the single person only needs a single bed, but on the weekend comes the partner, who potentially works and lives in a different city, and then the small apartment has to be quickly converted into a “hotel-room”, with a proper double bed for two people, both sleeping on the same level (not one high and the other one in a kind of draw on the floor), and possible to enter from both sides (not sleeping parallel to the wall, so the one person has to climb over the other during the night when he needs to go to the loo), and with no compromises to sleeping comfort (with regards to proper matrasses and orthopedic slatted frames), compared to a traditional double bed.
Advice to others about business:
Any start-up will face a variety of problems, last but not least because it is new and there might be limited resources / supply in the market. The start-up always has to cue at the end of the line. Established businesses have their frame contracts, and they always will be served first. In these environment, it is difficult to survive, not to mention to grow. But never give up, there is always a way!