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17 April 2024

Exports Create Growth Cycle for Powys Manufacturer


A Powys manufacturing company with a customer base that includes Olympic gold medallists, Formula One drivers and celebrity cyclists is celebrating reaching £2 million sales.

Elliot Tanner launched Stashed Products in 2021 after spotting a gap in the market for his bike storage solutions system. What started as a lockdown side project now sees products manufactured in the small village of Abermule shipped globally, and the firm has reached its milestone sales figures after receiving export support from Business Wales.

Stashed Product systems allow customers to hang, spin, slide and store their bikes in an accessible, secure, and space-effective way. The innovative bike storage solution skyrocketed in popularity in August 2022 after a video of the founder showcasing his product went viral on social media, gaining more than 100,000 likes and 8 million views on Facebook and Youtube.

Elliot, who had previously owned a research and design consultancy company, initially began exporting via online e-commerce platform Shopify. After some initial export sales he sought advice on growing into new markets.

Now, thanks to support from Business Wales, 80% of Stashed Products’ annual sales are exports. In the past two months alone, the manufacturer has exported to 35 countries.

Elliot said:

“This time last year Stashed Products was my side hustle. In one year alone I’ve become a full-time business owner, brought on eight brilliant team members including a sales manager, an engineering and operations manager, marketing and social media specialists, and four new operations team members. We also moved into a brand-new unit in Powys in November 2023. Without the support of Business Wales, none of this would have happened. I'd probably still be working out of my spare bedroom.”

Elliot first approached Business Wales in 2021 and was referred to Steve, a relationship manager, who has since guided Stashed’s development by helping to build business plans, register as a certified company, implement HR policies, secure a premises, and employ new specialists.

Seeing the business’ potential, the relationship manager helped Elliot access further specialist International Trade advice to successfully apply to his first mission event in California, which unlocked a major new growth market for the business. Elliot was also introduced to an Innovation Specialist at the Welsh Government, who helped him secure the SMART Flexible Innovation Support research and development grant alongside tailored advice from industry experts, that enabled him to receive price-matched funding for new product R&D.

Elliot continued:

Without assistance from Steve, alongside Welsh Government Innovation and Business Wales International Trade support, I’d still be at home, huddled in the spare room making and mailing out these products. I don’t come from a business background so I, like many other entrepreneurs, wasn’t aware of the support on offer. Steve has really helped me build sturdy foundations for my business on a global scale.”

Stashed Products plans to set up distribution branches in Europe and the US, which will make exporting much simpler. The team are also currently finalising three new products, which will be unveiled later this year.

Steve Maggs said:

Seeing Elliot turn Stashed Products from a side hustle into an international, seven-figure business in the short time we have worked together has been brilliant. It’s what makes my job as an advisor all the more worth it. Stashed Products skyrocketed in popularity and left Elliot playing catch up with business strategies and HR policies. I provided advice and guidance in helping Elliot achieve his business success in a simple and manageable way.”

 



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