All the fun of Fermoie

All the fun of Fermoie

By Antonia Filmer | 24 October, 2015
Fermoie Store

Some people say that famous founders can’t make successful businesses twice… Not so for Charterhouse school-friends Martin Ephson and Tom Helme, who sold UK’s most fashionable (and profitable) paint company Farrow and Ball to US investors in 2006. After years at F&B of discussing brand extensions that never came to fruition, they have got together again in 2012 to create Fermoie, the last word in British textured upholstery fabrics. Ephson and Helme examined the upholstery fabric market place and found it predominantly patterned and coloured, they decided their niche was textured and tonal.  Fermoie’s unique discernment and expertise with colour and fabric confuses between print and weave. They print with pigment dyes in two colours through rotary screens making the effect of melding the colour texture into the weave texture, simultaneously creating a unique colour.  Fermoie’s colour palette ranges from reds, greens, yellows, blues and the perpetually popular neutrals, cool neutrals being in vogue this autumn, base fabrics are cotton or Belgian linen.  Although every order is printed to order with just a five day turnaround, the small, tidy factory in Wilsthire will print any special combinations and the showroom in London’s Chelsea will organise bespoke curtain making and sofa covering, a small accessory range of cushions and lampshades is also available.

The recipe clearly works overseas growth is up 40% and UK growth is up 30% this year, this year their turnover will hit £1 million.Helme was originally Decoration Advisor to The National Trust (Britain’s national architecture and landscape charity), Ephson’s career was in Mergers and Acquisitions specifically consulting in the manufacturing industry.  For the first two years, as with any emerging business Ephson and Helme were more “hands on” than they had intended to be. Today they have gathered together a retail and a production expert to manage the logistics and both founders were very impressed by Katherine Pool’s graduate show, from Leeds College of Art, featuring designs made with innovative and traditional processes of eco-natural dyes, Ephson says “ there was nothing digital just creative, clever and beautiful designs, Katherine’s colour ethos was compatible with Fermoie’s”. Catherine walked into her first job as sole designer and colourist for Fermoie and was the only one of her course to land a job straight away.
 
They print with pigment dyes in two colours through rotary screens making the effect of melding the colour texture into the weave texture, simultaneously creating a unique colour.  Fermoie’s colour palette ranges from reds, greens, yellows, blues and the perpetually popular neutrals, cool neutrals being in vogue this autumn, base fabrics are cotton or Belgian linen.

With the smartest trade sample box-books in the interior decoration business and clients being predominantly top end decorators or boutique hotels  (Soho House are big fans), Fermoie looks set for success.

 

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