There are many elements to running a successful and well-managed superyacht. From professional crew, to yacht suppliers, all are equally as important. Yachting Pages recently spoke to Philip Hay, director at Home & Yacht Finest Bed Linen to find out the pros and cons of working within such a niche industry.
When was your business founded and how has it developed over the years?
Home & Yacht Finest Bed Linen was founded in 2008. Our business came about organically after we saw a need for good quality bed linens for both the home and yacht industry. Particularly in Mallorca, it was difficult to find bedding, pillows and duvets for all the sizes of beds, especially for beds from outside Spain such as Germany and the UK. At the time there weren't many companies supplying to the yachting industry.
Over the following years we travelled extensively building relationships with suppliers such as Schlossberg Switzerland, Frette, Pratesi, Yves Delorme amongst others making Home & Yacht Finest Bed Linen the largest showroom in the Med. We also sourced high quality Egyptian cotton fabrics and set up our own workshop and design studio producing other bespoke linens. The studio side rapidly developed and we have supplied linens to most of the other smaller linen providers around Mallorca.
This blend of world class brand names and the ability to produce in house means that we can react quickly and supply exactly what the client needs - this is paramount to the yachting industry’s needs.
What makes your service different to your competitors?
We offer what the others can't - choice. Being both agents for the brands and having our own bespoke service means we can cater to all tastes, schedules and budgets. We carry linens from 200 to 1,000 thread count in over 100 colours. We are different from many other linen and yacht supply companies because you can visit us in our showroom or arrange a showcase on board. We are not a suitcase and sample book kind of company.
Unlike other linen providers we base our prices on normal retail prices not inflated yacht prices. Reality is key to earning and maintaining client confidence and trust.
We also stock a huge range of towels and essentials such as pillows, duvets and protects etc. We even provide bespoke mattresses for guest or crew.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
We really enjoy developing the business and building something that is vital and indispensable to yacht stewards and interior managers. We recently added a new interiors department providing things such as tableware, glassware, dock mats, galley mats, laundry bags, carpets and bespoke cutlery boxes. The list is endless and each item has been brought about by client demand. Providing a service that they need is really rewarding.
What are the biggest challenges that you face?
At the moment getting in touch with the correct person on board to talk to about the linens and interiors. We are lucky that a lot of our clients find us but when we are actively search for new clients this part can be challenging.
Have you had any awkward experiences that you can share?
We were asked to provide some bespoke bed linens for a superyacht for the master cabin. The owner wanted new linens for when he and his wife were aboard but also a different design for when he and his girlfriend were on board. We were only given design briefs for each of the different sets and so we completed the designs and specifications and submitted our ideas. The answer came back and the designs were finalised and put into production.
The designs were very complex with decorative cushions, day covers and throws so when everything was completed we went to present the linens to the head of interior on board. We arrived with the linens and were about to start the presentation when a glamorous lady unexpectedly joined us. Excited to see what we were unpacking she said, "Ooo are these my bed linens, I can't wait to see how they turned out - I chose the design myself." This stopped us in our tracks. A few furtive glances between us and the head of interiors quickly realised our predicament. We didn’t know if this lady was the wife or the girlfriend and therefore which linens she was expecting us to pull from the box.
The quick thinking head of interior politely introduced us to the lady referring to her as Mrs X hoping that we noticed her subtle use of her married title.
It worked. Our hearts re-started and we opened the correct box and ignored the second one.
Who would be your dream client?
A lot of our clients give us freedom to offer ideas and suggestions but we are often working after the cabins have been designed. We would like to work with some new-builds where we can have input at the design stage to really put together some stunning beds that really are a part of the overall cabin design.
For more information on Home & Yacht Finest Bed Linen, please visit www.finestbedlinen.com.
For more information and tips on Beds & Linen Suppliers, click here.