KORTRIJK – Cobras, the interior architectural firm of manager and founder Jelle Vandecasteele, has reinforced its growth plans with a win-win loan of 250,000 euros that was fully endorsed by 72 ‘co-financiers’. Vandecasteele has ambitions with his brainchild that, in addition to the basic assignment as a multidisciplinary design and interior studio, he also wants to give it a new and complementary dimension as a fully-fledged architectural firm.
Jelle Vandecasteele had been working as an independent interior designer for some time with his sole proprietorship, when he decided to take the big leap forward in 2019. It led to the founding of Cobras, an SME that supervises interior decoration across the board, both for private individuals (B2C) and for companies (B2B).
He now employs ten people with his multidisciplinary design studio and can provide a very impressive list of references. Its order book is also filled until the second half of 2024. Over the past two years, Cobras has doubled its turnover with the same number of employees, which indicates greatly increased efficiency, without the human touch to forget. “It also has to do with our approach,” says Vandecasteele. “A classic architect designs from the outside in, Cobras looks from the inside out, and in this way we try to distinguish ourselves in the market. Our team is also multidisciplinary, with interior architects on board, as well as project leaders and concept designers, but also specialists in in the field of HR and employer branding. Customers are always appointed a tailor-made project team.”
To realize its growth plans and ambitions, Vandecasteele sought capital through a win-win loan, which was successfully and quickly concluded. “Cobras is now expanding its range even further Cobras Architects” says the CEO. “The funds through this crowdlending campaign will be used to help shape this new project. A new architect (the promising Willem Devos) has already arrived, and the recruitment of an experienced technical draftsman is on the agenda. The operation of the internal BIM model must be optimized, with new projects being mapped using 3D software. The right people must be trained for this. Finally, we also want to invest in marketing, PR and the website.”
Jelle Vandecasteele was asked by Howest to teach his insights to students. That mandate starts in early 2024. On behalf of FIT (Flanders Investment & Trade), he will also give a lecture in New York early next year. He was also the ‘campaign face’ of Unizo West Flanders this year.