Yvonne Samaranayake, Avalo Home

Yvonne had always had ambitions to start her own business, the idea became even more appealing after the birth of her two daughters. With her husband often travelling overseas with business it became hard to balance family life with working in the city as an IT Change Manager. Yvonne always told her young daughters they could be anything they wanted if they put in the hard work, and she decided to lead by example and follow her dream of self-employment.

While on holiday in a cottage in Devon, Yvonne came up with her business idea. She felt the cottage could benefit from some more comfortable seating for the children, in many Asian countries it is customary for people to use cushions and sit on the floor. Yvonne decided to research her idea and found there was a gap in the market, she got feedback from friends and family, visited factories and started working with a designer to get her idea off the ground. She used her loan money to pay for the first manufacturing run. Every Avalo product is made in the UK.

Avalo launched online in November 2014, eventually Yvonne hopes to get her cushions stocked in some iconic British high street retailers such as John Lewis. Ideally she would like to take on other working Mum’s as the business grows, who have great work experience and want to continue to utilise their skills but without having to commute into the city. Yvonne is currently working in a contract role three days a week but would eventually like to work for Avalo full time.

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