Nick Skaliotis never saw himself as an entrepreneur, or even an inventor, but sometimes in life opportunities come your way and these things just happen by accident.
Having invented his own gardening tool and receiving raving feedback, Nick decided to launch his own business earlier this year and it couldn’t have gone any smoother.
“After a long day toiling in the garden I decided there must be a way to make the activity of digging weeds and planting shrubs less painstaking – so I decided to have a tinker around the garden to find a way to make digging easier,” said Nick.
“Both my Father and Grandfather are of a 'make do and mend' generation, and they always tried to pass their natural intuition on to me. With that in mind I started off using bits of scaffold and old bicycle parts I could find in the shed.
“Kikka Digga adds a footplate and clamp pivot bar to forks and spades to make both digging into the ground and pulling back out of the ground to break up soil easy. Kikka Digga takes the strain, not your back.
“I then did some research to see if there was a similar product on the market but couldn’t find anything similar to what I’d created – so I concluded that there’s a gap in the market for a gadget to take the strain out of digging.
“By creating a retrofitting detachable digging pivot that allows for easy leverage by adding a footplate and clamp fulcrum, I thought this is a product that could genuinely help gardeners, taking the backache and physical stress out of digging.”
Having invented the product and conducted some market research, the question he then had to ask himself was ‘how do I turn this concept into a sustainable business?’
“I attended many inventor clubs and networked with fellow creatives and problem solvers. I needed to bring someone on board to help with the prototype; so I employed the services of a skilled South London blacksmith who worked from my designs and fabricated the first prototype of Kikka Digga.
“Once we had worked up a prototype it was time for me to get the product market ready, and think about new manufacturing methods. Kikka Digga is now made by a skilled UK based manufacturer using sophisticated laser cutting techniques.
“The process wasn’t cheap and the sacrifices I have had to make in my life in order to see this through were tough. I'm now there, the R&D is finished, all ready to go to market.
“I opened my eBay store early in 2016. I needed a platform to get my creation out there and found eBay the place for it. eBay attracts a huge audience to my business, and has a great community for gardening and DIY.”
After a first few months in business, Nick is now looking to the future and sees a bright future ahead for Kikka Digga.
He added: “Even though I’ve only been trading for a few months, my first batch sold out! I’ve ramped up production to keep up with demand – which I see getting pretty busy as we head into the summer months (people love to get out in the garden when it’s sunny).
“Also, even though it’s early days for Kikka Digga, I’ve had garden centres taking it on for a trail run!”
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