Mobile accessory start up Activ8 secures a place in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table today. The company joins 100 other private companies, rewarding their fastest-growing sales over the last three years.
Activ8 was founded by a husband and wife team, Zoe and Stuart Conroy in 2000. In 2012, the business duo founded Yoshie and Nico, the retail arm of Activ8 Distribution Ltd. The business turned over £8.3m last year and has forecasted tipping the £10million mark this year.
Both originally from North London, Stuart, 40, quit his job in IT to launch Activ8, the parent company Yoshie and Nico. “I wanted a role where there was a sense of achievement and an end goal rather than going through the motions. I envisage that in the future we will be working for longer in our lives, so wanted to get into an industry that I enjoyed and that had longevity. Twelve years on we are doing great things and changing the way people look at what can be done with new manufacturing technologies” he says.
A graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University, Stuart had been wholesaling tech accessories for eleven years and has helped establish many online sellers, providing all of the images and data to sell online, so it seemed a logical step to expand into direct selling to the consumer. “We set up Yoshie & Nico to create our own portal where people knew that what they were buying was good quality at the right price. It is very difficult on online channels, through an image, to see what is a good product and what is not. The names are family names within our team which we liked and complimented our inclusive nature as a company” he says.
Zoe, 38, is the creative mind behind the business. A qualified graphic designer, she set up Creative Eleven as the design arm of the Activ8 business in 2011 after the birth of their first child. Zoe says “I have made many contacts over the years and so we created a design group to bring all of the illustrators & designers under one group where we will initially work on Activ8 projects but we hope to expand into other sectors”.
Selling high-end, good quality products at a sensible price point, Yoshie and Nico sell a variety of brands offering the consumer trend led and practical accessories for their tech devices. The brand is going from strength to strength, with overseas expansion on the cards.