Will These Inspire You? 10 Global Businesses That Started In Garages…

You may need some more space, somewhere you can go to ‘get creative’ – and work on your new venture whatever it may be. 

Whatever it is, here are 10 world famous businesses that started out in a garage…

Behind this house is where Jeff Bezos started Amazon…

Amazon – Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in ‘94 as an online bookstore – from his garage in Bellevue, Washington. The first book was sold July ‘95 and barely 2 years later in ‘97 he issued his IPO!  

The garage where Apple was born…

Apple Inc. – In 1976, Steve Jobs then 21, and Steve Wozniak, 26, started by selling 50 units of Wozniak’s Apple I Computer at $500 apiece to a local retailer.

Jobs used the purchase order to show a parts distributor who let them have the parts. The two of them and their small army of helpers then built 50 computers in 30 days – from hand – from a garage in Cupertino, CA.

The birthplace of Disney

Did you know that less than an hour from the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA is the house in LA where Walt Disney started his now world famous company?

Back in 1923, it belonged to Walt’s Uncle Robert. Walt and his brother Roy moved in to the house with their Uncle and set up their first studio in the small one car garage. It was there they began filming the Alice Comedies which formed part of Alice’s Wonderland.

A friend’s garage became the home of Google

The lady in the photo above was actually Susan Wojcicki. And in September ‘98 she kindly let Larry Page & Sergey Brin use her garage seen in the background here. 

Their burgeoning start up however was interfering with their education so they tried to sell the business for a cool $1 million, which would have been nice!  It was not to be though, the attempt failed when Excite! turned down the chance to buy it. The rest, as they say, is history! 

Harley Davidson’s shed!

This is my favourite I have to say. Way way back in 1901, a young 21 yr old William Harley began drawing plans for an engine that would power a bicycle. Over the next 2 years Harley and his mate Arthur Davidson built their motorcycle in their friends’ 10x15ft shed as featured in the photo above. 

That sketch is lovely isn’t it? Evocative of humble beginnings aswell as a nice piece of art. Anyway, Harley Davidson officially began trading in 1903 and is flourishing today, around the world. 

Some 36 years later, in 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started HP in Dave’s garage with seed capital of just $538!  Their first product was an audio oscillator, guess who was their first customer? The one and only Walt Disney! He bought 8 oscillators to help with the the sound system for Fantasia.

Dave Packard’s garage is well renowned and recognised as the birthplace of Silicon Valley and HP is of course, a huge global business. 

Forgive me, this isn’t a picture of a garage I know. But it is a picture of the very first Lotus car showroom in Tottenham Lane, North London. In 1948, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman, built the very first Lotus racing car in stables behind The Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London using a 1930s Austin Seven and a power drill!  

Thought you’d enjoy that one!

Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler started Mattel out of their garage in 1945 in Southern California as a picture frame company.  

To make their materials count, they began using picture frame scrapes to create dollhouses. Soon their dollhouses were out-selling their picture frames so they turned their emphasis to toys. Mattel, Inc. is today highest-grossing toy company in the world.

Another picture that isn’t of a garage. Sorry! 

Was the summer of 69!  It was! Michael Kittredge – at the tender  age of just 16 – made a scented candle in his garage from melted crayons as a gift for his Mum (ah, bless).  The neighbours, being neighbourly of course and in no way nosy blighters, noticed and wanted to buy the lad’s candles, so he start making lots of them. 

Only 4 years after that, Kittredge outgrew his garage so he moved the Yankee Candle Company to an old mill in Holyoke, Massachusetts, today dear reader, it’s the largest manufacturer of scented candles in the US.

The last one I’m afraid, and if you close your eyes and use your imagination, you can begin to imagine you see a picture of a shed can’t you? I mean, that’s definitely not a picture of Tony Maglica is it? 

OK you got me. It is Tony, who moved to LA in 1950 from Croatia, his homeland. In 1955 he made a down-payment on a lathe and started working in an LA garage.

Mag Instrument became an official business in 1974 and released their 1st flashlight in ‘79. Today, Maglite is the standard issue flashlight for all police officers in the US.

So, that idea you have floating around in your head, why not build a space to get it out of your head and into production? You could choose a garage, a shed, one of our sturdy workshops or a home studio/office

Whatever you can imagine we can build. Then you can crack on….

Give us a call now on 01227 738 374 or pop in and see us 

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