Prince’s Trust & RBS A-Z of Young Businesses: ‘M’ – Michael McDonagh: Little Devils Direct

Little Devils Direct was founded four years ago, when Michael and his partner Adele were shopping for children’s furniture for their nephew. They came to an abrupt conclusion that it was over-priced, and decided to started selling alternative products from a home office in his one-bedroom flat.

The couple had no background in retail or design, but the business soon began to gather pace, and Michael contacted The Prince’s Trust for support. With a £5,000 loan and a £1,000 grant from The Trust, he was able to secure warehouse space. He was also given a dedicated business mentor, who was with Michael every step of the way.

Five years later and with three warehouses, Little Devils Direct now stocks 40 products, including push chairs and cots, half of them being designed directly by the company. Little Devil’s Direct also provided Big Brother 2011 with some furniture for the house.

Michael says, The Prince’s Trust course was fantastic. They completely understood my passion and determination to succeed and provided me with invaluable support and advice.

He continued, “Our ethos is top-quality products at affordable prices. This coupled with fantastic customer service has resulted in the company growing through word of mouth. Because we sell direct from the warehouse, missing out the ‘middle man’, we can pass on the savings to customers.”

“Our first foray into our own-designed products was a range of nursery furniture, which was received very well by our customers.” Michael told us. “With an eye for quality and the drive and ambition to bring new projects to life the range of our own designs has expanded and I am really excited to launch our new Hush Hush rocking chair for nursing mums. We now sell worldwide with customers ranging from next door to as far afield as Beverly Hills.”

Michael believes the forthcoming years will be very exciting for the company. He says: “It’s strange to look back to when I started from a home office selling two products on e-Bay. I’m now excited to be launching the improved website at the end of October with lots of new products, promotions and prizes.

I’d like to thank The Prince’s Trust for all of the help and support it has offered. I genuinely believe it provides an invaluable service and cannot express my gratitude enough.

Paul Jones

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine