Kneepad manufacturing business looks beyond banking for support during COVID-19
Product designer Victoria Hamilton developed and founded Recoil Kneepads in 2013 after being inspired by her carpenter father, who suffers from arthritis and chronic pain.
Developed for the professional trades and construction industry, Recoil Kneepads use a patented spring-loaded system that pivots, aiding movement. Scientific research has shown a 76% reduction in pressure on the knees with many users saying it’s like ‘kneeling on a cloud’.
Victoria has a longstanding relationship with Santander. She participated in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards while studying Engineering Product Design at Strathclyde University in 2013. She was awarded £5,000 which supported the business’s start-up costs and protection of Intellectual Property for Victoria’s design.
Fast forward to 2020 and the business has gone from strength to strength. Recoil Kneepads are available to buy in the UK and America through Amazon, but when coronavirus hit, stocks of PPE were prioritised, which meant that sales could not be made in America.
With the UK’s construction industry impacted by lockdown, sales of the Recoil Kneepad in the UK were simultaneously impacted. Victoria successfully applied for a £20,000 Bounce Back Business Loan with Santander UK. By May and June, with construction picking up and DIY and gardening popular, orders were increasing again and by adapting their marketing strategy to reach these new customers, the business has recovered.
In beyond banking support, Recoil Kneepads has been selected to feature in Santander’s Marketplace. The Marketplace is part of the bank’s Survive and Revive programme, which seeks to support businesses through the uncertainty caused by coronavirus. As part of the Marketplace, in the coming months Recoil Kneepads will feature on digital screens in Santander branches in West Scotland, helping the business to reach new customers close to home.
Victoria Hamilton, founder and CEO of Recoil Kneepads said: “Santander has been a phenomenal support since starting my business. After winning the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards in 2013, the £5,000 prize helped to set-up my business and pursue intellectual property to protect my idea. I was also introduced to my business bank account manager, who has been an excellent support throughout my entire business journey to date and has helped with securing further funding to expand my business and continue to grow. In addition, the team at Santander Universities has always been on hand to offer further support and guidance whenever I need it!’’
Fionn McGlade, Business Banking Manager at Santander said: “Recoil Kneepads has shown how uncertainty can prompt businesses to adapt and evolve. We’re very proud to support Victoria to manufacture and sell a product that’s used by so many. Supporting businesses is what we do, and I’m delighted that Recoil Kneepads will be featuring on our branch digital screens as part of our Marketplace initiative.”