In early April 2020, with the Covid pandemic only just taking hold of the UK and areas around the world, my colleagues and I received news that the Air Ambulance we worked for was entering a redundancy consultation for all staff.
I had worked at Capital for coming up to five years, others for over twenty and the news shook us all. As a team, we continued to offer the highest level of care and services possible, not only to our contracted clients but private patients who were desperate to return home.
With what was going on, huge numbers of people being furloughed across all industries, I did not think I would find another job any time soon. With this in mind, I set about brining what had been a hobby in to a business.
After prototyping several pack and fanny pack designs I launched Goat UL with the Billy pack and the Grey Face fanny pack. I was utterly shocked at the amount of support I was given, not only from my friends and family but from the wider hiking community in the UK and in the USA.
On day one, I took orders for 5 Billy packs with the first one arriving in California only 27 days after ordering.
The Grey Face is what surprised me the most. I thought I would have maybe sold one or two but I ended up making them in batches of 20.
Whilst all of this was happening I was still working for the Air Ambulance as it wound down operations. Making gear on my days off and working mostly night shifts.
A little more than two month after starting Goat UL I was offered a full time job, remaining in the aviation industry but in a non operational role. I was over the moon and took the position. I would have plenty of time off to continue Goat UL whilst working full time.
On the 30th August 2020, it was time to say Goodbye to Capital and the amazing people I worked with.
Whilst I am still designing and making gear, carrying out repairs and mods for people, I had a health blip whilst all this was going on have slowed the business down. I am very proud to say that every order has been completed and shipped earlier than advised and no one has been left waiting for products they have paid for.
The Alpine – A Pack I designed and have been developing for the last few months.
The original Billy Prototypes
A special one off pack for a friends seven year old lad