In 1988, Brian and Linda Annable sat in a library leafing through the Yellow Pages, noting down the hundreds of elevator companies listed within, primed to send leaflets to each and every one.
If raising two children wasn’t enough, the couple had taken the plunge to start a business out of their garage. They took out a bank loan and bought a company’s assets, for importing, cleaning, bagging Kapok natural fibre. With Brian’s business sense and Linda’s sewing skills, they started Kapok 88 - a vision shared between them, which they would grow out of their garage.
They started out with a single sewing machine and cutting table. The couple stood above their first drape, putting eyelet holes in for the first time, filled with trepidation. They worked a lot of long hours, balancing family life with business, taking trips to London to post leaflets through the letterbox of any building with more than two floors.
Thanks to their hard work, the business took off. Large elevator companies paid for their drapes, and not only did they get orders for their lift protection, but for walls of buildings such as Cabot Hall, and even the staircases of the State Apartments.
In 2007, their son Richard took over the business with the same vision as his parents, only on a global scale. He drove 800 miles to Germany to exhibit the Kapok 88 drapes for the first time, and a year later the company acquired its first distributor.