Have you ever had those times when an idea or an invention has come into your mind and you’ve wondered if you should actually explore the possibilities of it? Very few people go any further than the initial thought process of their fantastic idea, before they move on to thinking about something else; for me it’s usually what I’m having for dinner. The idea is pushed to the back of our minds and we’re on to the next thing. It’s a natural process, most people are too busy, or tied up with something else that seems more important, or worry about a lack of funds, and our imagination and innovation is dismissed and eventually forgotten.
Peter Morris didn’t do what most of us do. He was experiencing a serious food shortage in the fridge he shared while he was living in student accommodation. Someone else helping themselves to your food without permission is irritating, expensive and quite frankly rude! Instead of just complaining about it and not taking any action, Peter came up with the idea of a lockable box that was safe for use in a fridge. It was to have a combination lock and unless someone physically moved the whole thing, the contents of the lockable container would sit on the shelf, where it belonged, until he was ready for it.
Genius idea isn’t it? He thought so, he could see how many other people would benefit from this clever plastic lock box, he considered the amount of uses it would have, he gained confidence in his idea and then he went for it.
This is the kind of belief and innovation that wins awards and Peter Morris has just been voted Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the South Devon Business Excellence Awards 2016. Through his leadership, determination, and vision, his company Lockabox also won Business of the Year.
Peter and Lockabox faced some very strong competition in both categories, the judges of the South Devon Business Excellence Awards 2016 described the final decision making on the 140 entries as “Really, really difficult”.
As part of his acceptance speech Peter said “It's a credit to everything I've put in and to the people who've helped me along the way."
In many ways his words sum up a great deal of the ups and downs he has experienced while developing his idea for the lockable container and growing the Lockabox brand. Peter has invested a huge amount of himself into his company and large part of its ethos is based on his personal integrity. The portable locker was designed and made in Britain, something he felt was important for both his and the Lockabox reputation. Taking a product from inception to conception is long, complicated, and in his own words, lonely.
This is the first step of a 4 year journey - An image downloaded from google and sent off for initial enquiries.
Looking from the outside in at the growth of this brand, you would be forgiven for thinking that the achievements have been a simple process, in his own inimitable and deeply honest way Peter admits how hard it is to keep all his plates spinning, he isn’t afraid to speak of the fear that comes with developing his brand and the worry about finance and refinance. Looking at the locking box displayed in branches of John Lewis may give the impression that this company has achieved the ‘big time’. Appearances can be deceptive, and although he’s incredibly proud of his achievements so far, he still has a long way to go before he’s out of the debt incurred while he’s been creating and developing his idea. He openly admits he’s got a long way to go both in terms of his financial situation and developing his skills.
Thanks to the encouragement and some financial assistance from Devon Delivers, the next thing in the diary for the Lockabox team is The Gadget Show Live at the NEC, Birmingham - 31st March to 3rd April. The exhibition - a spin off from the Channel 5 show - is described as ‘The UK’s Largest Technology Exhibition.’ After their success at the Spring Fair in February at the same venue, Peter and his team are looking forward to the opportunity to show off the variety of uses for the Lockabox portable locker and hopefully come home with a few more orders.
If you’re going to the show, drop by stand D38, the guys will be happy to meet you. If you can’t make it but want to buy a multi-purpose plastic lock box, you can find them in any John Lewis store or online at:-