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Business Enterprise Fund

Novelty Cushions Put on a Smile for Family Business

22 December 2015 09:15


Emoji Cushion Lovers started when Sarah Agar-Brennan’s daughter received an emoji style cushion for her 14th birthday. The smiley-faced cushion was poorly made and took weeks to arrive in the post but seeing her daughter’s delight for the present, Sarah knew there was a business idea afoot.

With over 20 years’ experience in the toy industry, Sarah set to work sourcing production of her own range of high quality emoji cushions to bring to the UK.

“The cushion I bought was rubbish to be honest but I thought that I have to get these made.” Sarah said.
What started as a small ‘buy and sell’ project has grown to Emoji Cushion Lovers Ltd and, with help from a Start Up Loan from Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) they have grown quickly into a retail operation.

“We knew we had to grow fast and our family and friends have been working round the clock. BEF have been really important in helping us grow.”

The business has now created Sarah’s husband Carl a full time job, allowing him to leave the corporate world and fully involve himself in the family business.

“We didn’t imagine it but this business has transformed our lives, we now have a life balance and we look forward to seeing where it takes us. With these cushions comes hope!”

Emoji Cushion Lovers is exploring international markets with interest already from Holland and the USA.

Since opening in September, the business has doubled its warehouse space to satisfy growing demand. They have also launched an in-store selfie booth after partnering with local business Booth Revolution.

Their Leeds pop up store is open until the end of December - get your Christmas gift today!
If you’re inspired to begin your own business get in touch with BEF today:


Further Details
The Business Enterprise Fund provides loans from £500 to £150,000 to businesses that are unable to raise the finance they require from mainstream lenders. Lending up to 100% of the proposition across all sectors BEF has assisted over 2000 businesses since making its first loan in 2004.
Funding can be for all business needs including cash flow, assets and expansion plus those applicants with poor credit are also considered. In addition to their Bradford base, BEF operates from local offices in both York and Leeds and has recently expanded into the North East with an office in Darlington. In 2014 BEF has celebrated its 10th birthday.
The Business Enterprise Fund is a social enterprise and a Community Development Finance Institution, all our profits and reinvested in the company to further our social aims.

Tel: 0845 2003919
Twitter: @BE_Fund
Facebook: ‘Business Enterprise Fund’

Bradford: Devere House, Little Germany, Bradford, BD1 5AH
Leeds: Vicarage Chambers, 9 Park Square East, Leeds, LS1 2LH
York: Blake House, 18 Blake Street, York, YO1 8QH
Darlington: Darlington Business Central, 2 Union Square, Darlington, DL1 1GL

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Press Contacts

Fergus Mckie

Marketing Co-ordinator

Tel: 07827 318692


About Business Enterprise Fund

The Business Enterprise Fund is a social enterprise that lends money to businesses in West & North Yorkshire & the North East, who are unable to get lending from the banks. As a social enterprise there are no share holders – all profits generated are reinvested into the business.

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