Building a £1million business out of waste cardboard in just three years
It was taking a career break and joining the family business that led Tom Schott to have his lightbulb moment. In just three years, he has gone on to turn old cardboard lying idle in the warehouse into a million-pound business that’s growing by the week.
Named winner of The Growth Engine Award at the eBay for Business Awards 2018, Tom and his business partner Josh, have carved out a niche business, selling a wide range of packaging materials to both consumer and business customers.
Since launching their eBay shop, Schott Packaging, in 2015, sales have soared and the business is on track for its most successful year yet.
Here’s Tom’s story.
How did you end up launching your own eBay shop?
I had been working as a web developer for four years but found the repetitive nature of what I was doing really difficult. I wanted a change, so decided to quit my job and take a career break. This was in 2015 when I was 23.
I ended up joining my Dad’s removals business in Darlington, thinking I’d just take a year or so out and help create a new website for him and generally help with the business. At the time, it was a small family-run removals firm, with around 12 employees.
Alongside removals, my Dad also had a storage business and I noticed that a lot of space in the warehouse was being taken up by leftover moving boxes. There was all this cardboard lying idle in the warehouse and getting in the way - and that's when I had a brainwave! I thought I’d see if I could sell some of it, to clear some space and maybe make a little extra cash. eBay seemed the perfect platform to give it a try.
"I had no idea it would take off like it did!"