Kelcol, which employs 30 people and has been manufacturing beds in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, for 45 years, is celebrating the first anniversary of joining the National Bed Federation (NBF) and undergoing its strict audit process, marking the firm’s commitment to playing a more active role in the industry in the hands of the Barker family which bought the business in 2021.

Kelcol was established by David Kelly and his family in 1979, manufacturing and supplying beds direct to trade retailers. Current managing director Amy Wheeler (nee Barker) joined Kelcol in 2009 working in sales administration and going on to become involved in all parts of the business from accounts to buying. Three years ago, Amy, together with her parents, bought Kelcol and her two sisters have now joined the team too.

The company manufactures beds and sprung mattresses under the Kelcol Bed Company and Sleepwell brands, supplying around 150 retailers across the UK. Using quality materials, many of which are sourced in West Yorkshire, its top-of-the-range ‘To Catch a Dream’ brand features natural fillings. With a focus on quality, the company uses traditional techniques, with most processes carried out by hand by its highly skilled team. It also manufactures electrically adjustable beds.

“Every one of the 11,000 mattresses and beds we produce each year is fully bespoke. We make to order and are extremely proud of our high quality, traditionally manufactured product range,” explains managing director Amy Wheeler. “When we acquired the business, we saw it as a great opportunity to take a fresh look at everything we do and find ways of improving how we work.

“A key part of this strategy involved applying to join the industry’s leading trade association, the NBF, and the audit helped us to review all of our processes from health and safety to compliance. Not only did this give us confidence that we were operating in the best way possible, it also strengthened our customers’ trust in us as a reputable supplier.”

Amy continues, “As well as achieving the ‘badge of quality’ of being part of the NBF, membership has delivered various other benefits over the last year. It’s been really useful to be able to ask the NBF team for advice on industry issues, whether changes to legislation or apprenticeship initiatives, and to liaise with other members and learn from their experiences.

“Joining the NBF is part of our commitment to taking Kelcol to the next level and raising our profile within the sector. We’re looking forward to exhibiting our range at the NBF’s Bed Show next year which will be a perfect opportunity to talk to more retailers and network with our peers.”

Tristine Hargreaves, executive director of the NBF, said: “It’s great to see a long-established business like Kelcol embarking on the next phase of its journey, adopting a new outlook and taking a more active role in the sector as it seeks further expansion and success.”

Membership of the NBF offers a number of benefits from technical, marketing, HR and sustainability support to training and education, and health and safety services.

www.bedfed.org.uk/join-the-national-bed-federation/