Transforming houses into homes: the story of Sofas & Stuff

As the E2E Female 100 list for 2024 is set to be published on Thursday 25th April, we spoke to Julia Cussins, founder and CEO of Sofas & Stuff, to learn more about the history of the business, her reasoning behind starting Sofas & Stuff, and what advice she would give to female entrepreneurs

Wednesday 24 April 2024 16:20 BST
(Sofa’s and Stuff)

Julia Cussins stands at the forefront of Sofas & Stuff, a company deeply rooted in a family legacy of furniture retail. Founded in 2009 by Julia and her husband, Andrew Cussins, Sofas & Stuff is a testament to their shared vision, commitment to quality, and dedication to exceptional customer service.

The story of Sofas & Stuff begins with Andrew’s journey in the furniture industry, which started in 1980 when he joined his father’s company as an apprentice. With the founding of Sofa Workshop in 1985, Andrew’s passion for crafting exceptional furniture took flight, furnishing three-quarters of a million homes across the UK before its sale in 2002.

Julia, on the other hand, brought her own unique perspective to the business. Shaped by a life of commuting and travelling, she shared Andrew’s vision of creating a local business that would serve their community in rural West Sussex. Together, they identified a gap in the market for high-quality, bespoke British-made sofas and beds, laying the foundation for Sofas & Stuff.

Their flagship store and head office in rural Fittleworth, West Sussex, reflect Julia’s keen understanding of what makes a retail space welcoming and comfortable. Quirky, non-high street showrooms invite customers to explore at their leisure, creating an experience that goes beyond traditional shopping.

Julia’s commitment to customer satisfaction has been instrumental in Sofas & Stuff’s success. She believes in providing every customer with the best and most knowledgeable assistance possible, ensuring that everyone ends up with a product that meets their needs and expectations. This dedication to service has helped establish Sofas & Stuff as a brand known for its exceptional customer experience.

Today, Sofas & Stuff boasts 23 showrooms across the UK, each with a dedicated team on hand to help with any enquiry, no matter the size. Julia and Andrew are joined in the business by their sons, Sam and George, further solidifying Sofas & Stuff’s status as a family-run enterprise.

Being included in the E2E Female 100 is a testament to Julia’s leadership and the contributions of women in business. It represents not only recognition for Sofas & Stuff’s success but also a celebration of female entrepreneurship and innovation. Julia’s role as a female co-founder highlights the importance of diversity in business leadership and serves as inspiration for other women looking to make their mark in the industry.

Looking ahead, Julia and Andrew have ambitious plans for Sofas & Stuff. They envision bringing the brand to new communities across the UK, with plans for additional locations in London and Exeter, and Glasgow. Their commitment to excellence and their passion for providing the finest furniture and fabrics remain as strong as ever, ensuring that Sofas & Stuff continues to transform houses into homes for years to come.

As Sofas & Stuff takes its place among the E2E Female 100, Julia’s leadership and dedication serve as a shining example of female entrepreneurship in action. Her story, intertwined with that of Sofas & Stuff, is one of vision, hard work, and a commitment to quality, and it’s a story worth celebrating.

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