Zedbox: Creating an international range of beautiful micro homes

This is the first in a monthly series of guest posts by Charlie Dalton, founder of Zedbox

I’m thrilled to be involved in Alex’s new project, The Micro Life. Actually, Alex and I have known each other since the early 2000s - as he launched the Shedworking blog, and I launched the first mainstream garden office company.

Over the years our paths have continued to cross; as his site gained momentum and his books became renowned whilst I started my manufacturing business, Smart Garden Offices, which itself has gone on to be one of the market leaders in this now popular sector.

As is the way of life of modern, remote-working life, Alex and I have never actually met but we have a good mutual understanding and naturally a strong empathy in that we’re both enthusiastic about small spaces, whether it be for work or for living.

Serendipity struck again earlier this year as Alex shared his plans for his new Micro Home website simultaneously as I was close to finalising the early design prototypes of my own Micro Home range: Zedbox. Hence I’d like to share my journey with you as I launch Zedbox in the UK and then, in due course, our plans for international distribution. This is a monthly blog to highlight our progress; our successes and our failures as we create a new product in a new market.

I’m a proud manufacturer, a carpenter by training, and within Smart I employ over 50 talented individuals who work with me designing, creating, machining and installing garden offices, studios and garden rooms. Over the years we’ve invested over £1 million in state of the art CAD/CAM equipment and our large factory premises adjacent to the main A14. We’ve successfully launched 5 different ranges and every year we install over 400 purpose-built buildings. So naturally, I thought it would be plain sailing simply to launch an additional range of micro homes. I simply assumed that we’d breeze through our normal product development process (we have our own dedicated R&D team) and hey presto we’d be ready to launch in a matter of months.

Silly me, if only I hadn’t made such crude assumptions. Despite our resources, skills, appetite and sheer determination, the launch of Zedbox has turned out to be far from straightforward and over the next few months I’ll share with you the headaches, pitfalls and setbacks that we encountered to have finally got our lovely product customer-ready.