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The lowdown with Dock & Bay

Dock & Bay are a colourful lifestyle brand famous for their quick-drying towels and now sell unique products across travel, fitness, and home accessories for everyone who loves to explore this incredible planet we get to call home. We sat down with the two founders of Dock & Bay Andy and Ben to find out more about their company and where it all began...

08 April 2021

Dock & Bay are a colourful lifestyle brand famous for their quick-drying towels and now sell unique products across travel, fitness, and home accessories for everyone who loves to explore this incredible planet we get to call home.

You might have seen their colourful range of shorts in Curated and when we re-open you can expect to see a selection of colourful striped towels, reusable makeup pads and sports and cooling towels.

We sat down with the two founders of Dock & Bay Andy and Ben to find out more about their company and where it all began.

Tell us a bit about how Dock & Bay came about?

Dock & Bay began as many great ideas do, a desire for something new, a passion for travel & adventure and...a few drinks. Co-founder Ben and I (who is now down under!), were workmates and global travellers. We decided to completely reinvent the bulky, soggy beach towel, and brighten up the world, one stripe at a time!

In 2017 we featured on Dragons Den and secured investment from Deborah Meaden propelling us into the UK market. Now, as well as our famous beach towels, we sell swimwear, ponchos, gym towels and hair wraps across the globe, always with a cheeky touch of colour because we do not believe in taking life too seriously. We have warehousing in UK, USA, Canada, and Australia. In the world of the internet, we see the world as one market.

Our towels are all sand-free, quick-dry and super absorbent while staying compact because no one wants a towel that takes up all of their suitcase space, these factors set us apart from the competition and changed the towel game. But our biggest focus recently has been on making moves towards being a more sustainable brand with all our products now made from 100% recycled materials (post-consumer plastic bottles!)

In our first full year of business (2015), we had a turnover of £92K and this year we hit over £8m. We were nominated in The Sunday Times Fast Track "Ones To Watch" category in 2019 and were just voted 13th in the Start-up’s 100 lists for 2020. Despite the impact of Covid-19 on most businesses, especially the travel sector, we have worked hard to pivot and position ourselves into new product areas allowing us to continue driving momentum at a turbulent time. We have always thought on our feet, moved quickly, and stayed ahead of what's going on across the world.

Tell us about the team at Dock & Bay.

Without our awesome team across the world, we wouldn't be the business we are today. With a team of 15, passionate and inspiring people, we are able to achieve great things with just a small bunch. Our 7 Community Managers give their everything to keep our huge customer base happy and have allowed us to have a Net Promoter Score of 4.8, a truly world-class dedication to customer service. A team that generally cares about people.

We have our 2 strong sales team who focus on our wholesale business and have taken it to huge new heights since setting up the team just 2 years ago. Travelling across the world to make it the fastest-growing area of the business year on year. Then we have our awesome designer, straight out of University, working tirelessly to shape the way we look to the outside world and making waves across our marketing, design and products. Working closely with our 4-person marketing team as they all push the business forward with new ideas, new ways of attracting customers and ensuring we continue to keep our current customers engaged and happy.

And finally, our awesome head of photography, based in Australia. She's done some of the coolest shoots you could ask for and really created that inspirational, exciting and fun vibe that Dock & Bay gives off every day. Ben and I are very lucky to have this team at the heart of everything we do each day.

Tell us about your time on Dragon's Den.

Back in 2017, our business was growing fast, and we needed investment to fuel the growth. And what better place to head than onto national UK TV for Dragons' Den. After some early nerves and a few slip-ups in our pitch, we managed to hit back with strong replies to the investor's questions. Finally landing 3 offers and a deal with Deborah Meaden. When the show aired, we cleared out 2 warehouses in just 2 days and have continued to grow rapidly in the UK ever since.

Tell us more about the business and how your products are made.

All our products are made from recycled or biodegradable materials which is something we are very proud of. We do not use plastic in any of our packaging and continue to make improvements to be kinder to the planet. We started out with the quick dry beach towel and now our products span across beach and travel, home and beauty & sport and fitness.

How has the pandemic influenced business?

Selling a travel product in a world without travel was never going to be easy but we've managed to ride the storm out as best as we could have imagined with a fantastic team. With our team all over the world, we were fully ready for remote working but our growing product range and global focus, allowed us to continue to grow during 2020. As we move away from being a travel brand to a lifestyle brand, our home products flew off the shelves during 2020. We also had rapid growth in the USA which allowed us to continue to push on in tougher times. A year we will never forget but a year that allowed us to sit back, re-align and push on for the big future that lies ahead.

 

If you fancy taking a look at Dock & Bay’s colourful range of products shop here, or in Curated.

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