• +44 1949 843 020

The KAPOK 88 Story

​​If building your own home isn't enough, and raising two young children, my dad and mum (Brian and Linda Annable) had the vision and courage to take a risk and start a family business.

"Although a corporate accountant and experienced in small business requirements, I always wanted to work for myself. In the 80's we took a bank loan and bought the assets of a company that imported, cleaned and bagged KAPOK natural fibre. During this time we were asked by a large Elevator company if we could manufacture a protective drape” - Brian Annable

There the KAPOK 88 story began; my dad had the business vision and my mum the sewing ability.  Kapok (1988) Ltd was born in February 1988.

“The trepidation of putting holes for the eyelets in the drapes for the 1st time - all done by hand, we both remember it so well; standing there with our first drape thinking we have to get this right" - Brian Annable

My parents (having sold the KAPOK fibre filling side moved out of the very large factory that housed all the machinery) took the leap and started from home in the garage with a cutting table and sewing machine. 

"At the start we used to go to the library, sit and go through each one of the yellow pages listing all the elevator companies across the UK. There were hundreds of them. We sent leaflets to all.  We even took a trip to London, walking the streets and leafleting any building with 2 floors or more. At the beginning it was hard, we worked very long hours, juggling work with school runs and family life" - Linda Annable

​​Along with elevator drapes, orders started coming in for interior wall protection, one of the first being Cabot Hall; a large banqueting and performance hall at Canary Wharf. We’ve also protected a staircase in the state apartments; seat covers on a private jet as well as a couple of top secret locations!

“It also has only been possible due to the team of staff we've had working with us during the 30 years. We've built strong relationships and our business has grown through word of mouth and personal customer recommendations. I think what also sets us apart is we offer a fitting service and Richard, now Managing Director, has taken this side of the business to a new level, along with exporting to Europe and beyond" - Brian Annable

It was in 2006 I started our exporting adventure. I had the same vision as my parents but on a global scale. I heard about an elevator exhibition in Germany, and learned it was the place to be to reach the global market. 2007, my General Manager and I drove the 800 miles to Germany to exhibit our drapes for the first time, and 12 months later we acquired our first Distributor.

The last ten years for us have been about sales growth in Europe and the Middle East visiting potential customers and promoting our products. Our new home at Newton House has been exciting and gives us further scope to continue our growth into new sectors and countries…..watch this space!

 

Our Reputation

KAPOK 88's success has been built on quality, price, service and quick turnaround - traits we've maintained since day one.

 

Our History

1988 Business started- we manufactured from the family garage!
1989 Canary Wharf order - one of our first large & valuable orders
1991 Needing more production space, we moved to our first unit in Bottesford
1991 KAPOK No.1 stud designed by Brian Annable and his eldest son Robert.
1992 As the business grew we moved to unit 13 Roseland Business Park, Long Bennington
1997 Richard officially joined the business – starting at the bottom, cleaning up, sweeping and cutting the fabric
2006 Installations Manager appointed
2007 Richard became Managing Director
2007 KAPOK 88 exhibited at our 1st LiftEx in Germany & started selling in Europe
2008-2010 Our distributors grew in Netherlands, France, Dubai and Germany
2011 UK Installations Team expanded
2017 Marketing & HR Manager appointed
2017 We moved to Newton House- our current home!
2018 Celebrating 30 years in business!

Joining the KAPOK 88 Family

​Being part of our family means looking out for each other, loyalty, trust, commitment and working together to further build our business success.

We are not a big company, but we are a family business that's growing.  We offer a relaxed working atmosphere, friendly humour, and are appreciative of what our people do.  We couldn't have been successful without our team!

“Proud of our loyal and hard-working team, genuinely a great asset”.  Brian Annable, Chairman

Interested in joining?

Our people are honest, flexible, multi-skilled, willing to muck in & work hard.

We offer 20 days holiday (plus bank holidays), competitive pay, Company contributory pension scheme, annual pay reviews, training, work uniform, free on-site car parking and plenty of biscuits & cake with our tea! 

KAPOK 88 is an equal opportunities employer.

If you're interested in applying or would like more information, telephone 01949 843020 or fill in our contact form.

Prevent damage to your elevators, stairwells or internal walls with KAPOK 88 drapes Get a Quote

About us

​​Kapok 88, a 2nd generation family business, is an internationally recognised brand that designs and manufactures padded protective drapes to prevent damage to walls.

Our custom made products are typically used in elevators, stairwells and hallways where large or bulky items are being transported.

Our Fitting services

​​We offer the complete "one stop shop service". Our fully trained installations team will attend onsite anywhere in the UK to advise on the best options, install any of our fixtures and fittings and take complete measurements to ensure a guaranteed fit.

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Contact us

  • Kapok (1988) Ltd
    Newton House
    Long Bennington Business Park
    Long Bennington
    NG23 5JR
  • http://www.kapok88.com
  • +44 1949 843 020