Today, big companies have inspired young and budding entrepreneurs to strive harder and continue the journey that they have started, primarily because these big companies did not start as big as they are now. Most of the people behind these successful companies are people who have worked hard, and who have persevered to attain the success that they have now. Some of today’s most popular and most loved brands are built by people who you would never think would make it big someday. They did not own mansions or did not belong to prestigious families, instead they had humble beginnings and simple lives, for all we know, someday they would be the world’s icons in their respective industries. Today, the world looks up to these big companies but everyone will surely be more amazed when you find out that some of these successful entrepreneurs have started in their businesses in their garage.
10. Yankee Candle Company
Who would have thought that U.S.A.’s biggest manufacturer of scented candles started way back in 1969 in Michael Kittredge’s garage where he made his scented candle out of melted candles. The simple gift for his mother is now the country’s top scented candle producer. He was 16 years old then and his neighbors got curious of his creation so they bought his candles. That was when he started to produce more. In four years time, Kittredge needed a bigger place and outgrew his garage as his business expanded. He moved the Yankee Candle Company to an old mill located in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
The next time you head to a toy store for your kid, think of Mattel, the world’s highest-grossing toy company, and how it was able to become a huge success in the toy industry. Mattel’s founders Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler started Mattel as a picture frame company in a garage in Southern California. This was in 1945. They aimed to get the most out of their excess materials so they used the scrapes from their picture frame and they were able to create dollhouses. People liked to buy the dollhouses more than the picture frames. That was the beginning of Mattel and how it would change the toy industry forever.
Today’s standard issue flashlight for all U.S. police officers, Maglite, started in a garage in Los Angeles. Tony Maglica moved to America and left his war-torn home in Croatia. Starting with a $125 investment, he had his first lathe and he manufactured the precision parts in his garage in Los Angeles. In 1974, he incorporated Mag Instrument and in 1979, he released the company’s first flashlight.
7. Lotus Cars
Who would have thought that one of the world’s best racing car manufacturers started in stables behind the Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London? Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman started Lotus Cars when he built his first Lotus racing car in this garage. Exact address is 472 Hornsey Road, London N19, 4EF, United Kingdom. It was in 1948 and he was just 20 years old back then. He used a 1930’s Austin Seven and a power drill to be able to produce the Lotus Mark I.
6. Hewlett Packard
HP is undeniably one of the biggest companies in the world. The founders of HP, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded the company in Packard’s garage located at 367 Addison Ave., Palo Alto, California. Their investment was just $538 and their first product was an audio oscillator. Walt Disney was one of their first customers where he purchased eight PC’s of oscillators for his movie Fantasia. Today, HP is one of the most renowned brands in the world.
5. Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson is one of the most prestigious motorcycle brands in the world. William S. Harley always wanted to create his own bicycle so he started in 1901 when he was just 21 yrs old. Together with his friend, Arthur Davidson, they built their motor bicycle in their friend’s garage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was in a 10 by 15 foot wooden shed where a well-known motorcycle brand started. In 1903, the Harley-Davidson company was officially founded.
Everyone knows Google, because it seems that Google knows everything. It is the most trafficked website in the world but another interesting trivia about it is that Stanford Graduate students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google in Susan Wojicki’s garage. Her garage was in 232 Santa Margarita Ave., Menlo Park, California. They tried to sell the project to Excite for $1 million but Excite rejected the offer, without knowing that they had let go of today’s most popular website.
Walt Disney, together with his brother Roy, set up the First Disney studio at their uncle’s garage located at 4651 Kingswell Ave. Los Angeles California, which is just about 45 minutes down the road from Disneyland Park in Anaheim in California. It was way back in 1923 when they used this house to film their first productions. They started filming the Alice Comedies in this one-car garage out back. From the simple garage, and since then, Disney has never stopped growing. It is now the highest-grossing media conglomerate in the world and people cannot help but watch out for all of their productions.
Yes, even Apple, who is a certified pioneer of technology and advancement in its industry, started his company in a humble garage in 2066 Crist Dr., Los Altos California. In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who were both young then ventured to their Apple computers business by selling 50 units of Wozniak’s Apple I Computer at $500 per piece. They built a small team that build 50 computers in one month in that same garage in Cupertino, California. Today, Apple has more than hundreds of employees to build computers and gadgets. Apple is surely on top of its game.
Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com as an online bookstore. Way back in 1994, he ran his business in his garage located at 10704 ne 28th, Bellevue, Washington. Today, Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world.