We interviewed the amazing Rob Law, Father of the wonderful Trunki. Rob lives in Bristol with his partner Kathryn. They have 2 cats and lots of Trunki cases!
Some of our readers will know you from Dragons Den and your pitch going wrong – looking back, was it worth facing the Dragons?
When the show first aired and the BBC advertised the episode as ‘wheelie rubbish’ I was worried I’d ruined my business. But that evening our website was inundated with messages of support from customers who wanted to buy the product. One of those messages was from John Lewis’s luggage buyer, and we haven’t looked back since!
Trunki addresses the need of any parent who has ever travelled with a tired and cranky child, yet you have no children yourself. What inspired you to design Trunki?
I had a project at university to design a piece of children’s luggage so went to a department store for inspiration. The luggage department was really uninspiring so the big kid in me wandered over to the toy department. I began to think about how I could use the wasted space in ride-on toys and Trunki was born!
Did you expect it to become such a hit with parents and the industry?
I don’t think you ever expect it, but when we took Trunki to its first few trade shows the positive reaction from parents and their little ones was very reassuring. Children are brutally honest, and if they love your product, you’ve overcome the biggest hurdle.
You have received many awards – which one are you proudest of?
Last month we won Small to Medium Size Enterprise of the Year at the National Business Awards and that was a very proud moment. To see the achievements of the team recognised amongst such strong competition was very humbling.
What did you want to be when you were a boy?
My dreams of being an Astronaut were short lived due to a health condition so I had to get pretty realistic; in my early teens I started learning more about product design and by the age of 14 I was sold on that career after work experience in a design company. Growing up seeing my Dad become a workaholic running his own business I swore to myself I would enjoy life. That lasted for several years until I started up!
For the Olympics there was a patriotic Trunki Team GB edition – how do you think the Olympics affected the UK? And If you were to compete for a gold medal, what would it be for?
The London Olympics was an amazing event to be a part of, and was a great way of bringing everyone together. I’m not quite at Olympic level, but I took part in my first triathlon last year and caught the bug so that would be my event of choice.
Tell us a secret about London?
I lived in Islington for 6 months while freelancing and loved seeking refuge from the manic pace of life in Barnsbury Square.
What’s a product you’d recommend to our readers?
Our latest product is PaddlePak, it’s a water-resistant backpack for young explorers. It features a dry roll top seal that uses the same innovation as adult outdoor bags to keep belongings protected from the elements. It also has our patent pending, break away safety clip hand zip pockets and the Trunki grip to keep sunglasses close to hand. It’s currently available in pink, blue and shark and whale designs, but there are some exciting new characters launching early next year…
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Passionate, driven and unstoppable!
(Questions by Victoria Krumrei)