From shed to shed loads: the companies started in sheds

May 29, 2017

A wooden garden shed is so much more than a place to store your equipment and tools. It’s a hub of innovation and activity, a place where ideas and concepts can come into fruition, and a place where our wildest dreams can become a reality. And we don’t mean that sarcastically! Some of the world’s most successful companies started out in sheds. If you have always considered setting up a business but do not have the financial means to rent office space, why not begin in your very own garden shed, wooden workshop or log cabin?

No, we’re not crazy….just take a look at some of these huge companies that started out in sheds and garages and went on to become some of the biggest names we know of today. Enjoy reading and get inspired!

Which big companies started in sheds?


Adored by children and adults alike, Disney is one of the most popular studios worldwide. But did you know that Walt and his brother Robert moved to California before creating the first ever Disney studio in their uncle’s garden shed? That’s right! The creators of film favourites such as Aladdin, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Frozen had their humble beginnings in the garden shed!


Arguably the largest and most successful technology company, Apple creators Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak began their innovation journey from a small garage in Cupertino, California. The two Steves built 50 computers by hand from the small space within the space of 30 days! What is more, they were only 21 (Jobs) and 26 (Wozniak) at the time.


At the tender age of 17, Ingvar Kamprad set up shop in his very own, tiny 2m square shed. He began by selling disposable items, and four years later, sold his first furniture products. Another four years later, the first IKEA catalogue was published and so began the world famous IKEA brand – now selling innovative furniture and storage solutions, flat-packed items, and a darn tasty plate of meatballs.

Yankee Candles

The Yankee Candle craze also has humble roots. These wonderfully scented and colourful candles were designed by Michael Kittredge in Massachusetts. Kittredge initially melted some crayons to give as a present to his mother, and it wasn’t long before the neighbours started to take an interest in purchasing them. As a result, he began mass producing the candles in his mother’s shed, before outgrowing it in a short space of time.

Marie Curie’s Research Lab

Marie Curie was a famous chemist and physicist, best known for her pioneering work in radioactivity. Her extraordinary discoveries led to some of the biggest medical advancements in the 1900s. However, Curie’s first lab was a murky abandoned shed that was once used by a medical school as a dissection room.

Hewlett Packard

Created by Billy Hewlett and Dave Packard, HP began in shed-like premises in 1939. Now one of the most recognised electronics brands across the globe, the duo developed their first product in a standard shed. To commemorate their roots, the shed was converted into a museum. HP headquarters still remain in California, where the pair first created the business.

The Wright Brothers

Orville and Wilbur Wright purpose built the first aircraft hangar/shed in order to construct, test and store their world-changing transportation device – the world’s first successful aircraft for human flight that was powered by an engine. Their creation has changed the face of transportation and the world as we know it today. Think about that the next time you jump on a plane!

Harley Davidson

You might store your Harley Davidson in a shed, but did you know that William S Harley designed initial parts for the bike from his friend’s garden shed? He, along with childhood friend Arthur Davidson worked on the motor-powered bicycle over the space of two years, and in 1903, Harley & Davidson had set up in the shed in 1903. Today, they supply the most famous motorcycles in the world, gracing shed and garages all over the place.

Contact Sheds to Last today

We hope this article has inspired you to set up shop in your own shed, wooden workshop or log cabin. Get those creative juices flowing, or put that business idea into practice with your very own garden space and work in the comfort of your own premises.

If you would like any further advice about our wide range of sheds and garden buildings, prices and optional extras, get in touch with Sheds To Last today and make your business dreams a reality!