It's Puppy Love for Fleximize and Online Pet Retailer (Video)

Luxury pet retailer The Lounging Hound needed a small business loan to take advantage of a boom in online sales during the pandemic. Here's how Fleximize was able to help

Key Details

The business

- Online retailer

- Traded 6 years

- Based in Buckinghamshire

Reason for funding

Recruiting new staff


- Unsecured business loan

- Fixed repayments

- £15,000 over 24 months


- Hiring a marketing assistant

- Purchasing raw materials

As a nation of pet lovers, the Brits are renowned for treating their furry friends with luxury toys, titbits, and accessories. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of pet owners in the UK has soared to new heights, with 3.2 million households buying a new pet, sparking a surge in consumer spending. 

Poised to respond to this growth in demand was Natalie Mohacs, the founder of The Lounging Hound, an online shop specialising in luxury dog beds and other furnishings. But despite soaring sales figures, securing a bank loan to support the business' growth proved more difficult than Natalie expected. That's when Fleximize stepped in. 

Launching the brand

After spotting an unmet need for more attractive, durable pet bedding among her friends and family, Natalie single-handedly launched The Lounging Hound from her kitchen table in 2015. The business mission was simple: offer customers a range of stylish yet practical products that will be loved by pets and pet owners alike.

While she had no prior knowledge of the industry, Natalie drew on her first-hand experiences of living and travelling with dogs when designing her range of soft furnishings. As sales increased, production was shifted from a local seamstress to an established manufacturer. However, every item continues to be designed and made in the UK as part of Natalie's commitment to minimizing the business' carbon footprint. 

The Lounging Hound grew exponentially from its humble beginnings, quickly diversifying its product range, upscaling production, and expanding into online marketplaces and high-street stores. It soon became clear that the business needed a financial boost in order to sustain its growth in the long term. 

Starting from scratch
Starting from scratch :

Natalie launched The Lounging Hound from her kitchen table, expanding her online offering to include a vast range of luxury pet furnishings.

Barriers to finance

There was a lot to learn about running a successful business, but Natalie successfully overcame a number of hurdles faced by startups, not to mention the unprecedented challenges brought by the pandemic and Brexit. 

Whilst ecommerce sales boomed throughout 2020, the closure of production lines during lockdown resulted in severe supply chain issues. These shortages in raw materials made it difficult for The Lounging Hound to meet growing demand. Moreover, new custom fees and duties were also a concern, as these unforeseen costs threatened the business' bottom line. 

Such challenges weren't unique to Natalie's business; across the UK, the retail industry faced tough obstacles. Unfortunately, most traditional lenders evaluate applications based on industry trends rather than individual cases, and many became unwilling to lend to retailers during this time. Natalie encountered such barriers when her personal bank denied her application, which was highly frustrating for a business owner that had witnessed her sales skyrocket in recent months.

The application process was so straightforward. It was just an absolute pleasure to deal with Fleximize.

Natalie Mohacs

How Fleximize helped

Natalie began looking for alternative funding and was referred to the Fleximize team by her finance broker, Funding Options. The process was speedy and straightforward, resulting in a loan offer two days after Natalie's application was submitted. As Fleximize focuses on how a business is performing, rather than solely evaluating the industry's overall health, The Lounging Hound was given as much consideration as any other applicant, with a final decision based on the business' unique circumstances. 

For Natalie, one of the greatest benefits of working with Fleximize was the personal service she received. She was assigned her own relationship manager, Emma, who spoke with her at length about her business plans. Fleximize was the first lender that Natalie had approached who took the time to understand the business, with decisions made by real people instead of automated processes. 

By recognising The Lounging Hound's potential for growth, Fleximize could approve and offer £15,000 to be repaid over 24 months. This funding enabled Natalie to hire a new marketing assistant to promote the brand and increase its customer base. And, of course, to buy more beautiful fabrics for her creations. 

At Fleximize, we’re always looking to say ‘yes’ to small businesses that require funding to execute their growth plans, whether it's to hire new staff, purchase materials, or move premises. If you run an ecommerce shop like Natalie, or any other small business, get in touch today to find out how Fleximize can help.