The Early Days of Stuff
A chance meeting between the three founders happened at a gift fair in Harrogate around 2003. Two friends from University who were Scientists by education but inventors by nature, Kenny McAndrew and Dr Graeme Taylor, had taken a stand at the fair. Richard North was at first incredulous that their "sales booth" was simply a tiny plasterers table piled high with towels. The towels were all the same; one half was brown, the other half white. Across the brown section, in large white capital letters the word ARSE was written, the word FACE was emblazoned on the white section. The towels while practical were never going to sell in the hundreds of thousands!
But so it was that a combination of a towel called ARSE/FACE and a meeting of creative minds led to the trio of North, Taylor and McAndrew eventually launching China Industries Ltd that trades today as Wow! Stuff. In the first twelve months of trading Wow! Stuff imported novelty gifts and gadgets. Hence Taylor and McAndrew's invention the A/F towel, which went on to sell one million pieces worldwide and featured in various TV shows. At some point it even got adorned floor to ceiling in the Australian Museum of Contemporary Art.
So we knew we had taste and a flair for innovation, but how could we build on it...