Interview with David Strang of toy company Wicked Vision

David Strang's boomerang and toy company Wicked Vision has soared since he first launched it ten years ago.

Where did you get the idea?

I was already running a business importing goods from Australia and someone asked me if I sold boomerangs. I said I did, even though we weren’t stocking any. So I got in contact with a manufacturer in Perth, bought some in and the business took off.

How have you financed it?

I invested very little. We started off small and just imported more as it took off. I relied on my own savings rather than on external investment. Some people drink their savings away, or buy fancy clothes. I put it into my business. I bought a computer with the money and some stock. The rest I used until the business became profitable.

How did you market it?

We realised the potential of PR early on. I wrote articles in the Evening Standard and the Daily Mail and a lot of other papers soon became interested. The fact that it’s such a quirky product helped to raise our profile and the press became interested in us again when we later started to manufacture our own boomerangs and sell them back to Australia.

What have you done to grow?

We approached a lot of department stores and sports shops in the early days. There was an element of time, place and luck, too. Now we sell our boomerangs in Harrods, Hamleys, Madam Tussauds and the Science Museum. We’ve also expanded to sell around 50 other products, although the boomerangs are still our bread and butter.

Where next?

There are three main routes to grow the business further. We want to become a distributor for international brands that don’t have a big presence in the UK; widen the Wicked brand by launching more lines – we’ve already got another 20 planned next year, and increase our customer base.

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