Startups Awards Hall of Fame: Shelley and Jerry Lawson, Frog Bikes
The bike manufacturers share news of their phenomenal growth and how the Startups Awards enabled them to evaluate their success
Founders: Shelley and Jerry Lawson
Year Started: 2013
The idea for Frog Bikes came to Jerry and Shelley after they watched their children struggle to ride their heavy and poorly designed bikes, leading the couple to come up with a lightweight bike for young cyclists.
Last year, they were selected as Export Business of the Year because in the two years since it was founded it had established itself as a global brand, and had began exporting across Europe.
Startups caught up with the founders to discuss further growth into new markets and why entering the Startups Awards helped them sit back and take stock of their success so far.
What’s happened in the last year since you entered the Startups Awards?
The business has continued to grow at a phenomenal rate – through entering new markets in Europe and Asia, and growing our sales through our existing stockists in UK. We have been working with Olympian Joanna Rowsell, who helped us launch our new range of Union Jack bikes in the spring, and continue our partnership with Team Sky, making a range of bikes with the iconic Team Sky branding for children.
What’s been the single biggest highlight for the business since winning?
Opening our own factory, here in the UK! We’ve relied on third parties to assemble our bikes in the Far East up until this point, but just this month (August 2016) we have started assembling our own bikes in a 60,000 sq ft factory in Wales. This investment will step-change how we make our bikes, making us more responsive to demand, and substantially reducing our environmental impact.
What are you hoping to achieve in the next year or so?
Export growth remains very important to us, and we’re investing heavily in the large German, French and Italian cycling markets. We are also growing our customer base in Canada, where we already have a few very strong stores.
What did winning at the Startups Awards mean to you? Why would you recommend entering awards like this?
It’s always lovely to win an award, of course – but it’s a huge pat on the back to our small team to get this sort of recognition. I think it’s also a good exercise to write an awards submission about your company because it makes you look at it from an external perspective: most of the time we are so busy running and growing the business, that we don’t make time to sit back and evaluate what we’ve been doing.
To enter the 2016 Startups Awards, click here.