When things go wrong in your home it can be a big source of stress and unhappiness. I experienced this first hand in a particularly memorable way right before Christmas, 2014. It’s a story that helps explain why I created DAD and how the business got it’s name.
Born in Yorkshire, the son of a Design & Technology teacher I grew up with practicality, working hard and doing-it-yourself, very much ingrained into my personality. Let me put that in context. My first job was working for my father to support his side project, a “beer money” generating wooden handicrafts business.
Most of the time that simply revolved around my Dad at a lathe turning wooden lamps and fruit bowls in his workshop. However, when he landed a large order for a local jewellery firm, the whole family were drafted in to help produce hundreds of names plaques — the kind that are often ceremoniously unveiled by minor celebrities at local recreation grounds. My job was sanding, varnishing and finishing the plaques. I was 4 years old.
My first foray into entrepreneurship was when I turned 12. It was the height of the 80’s skateboard craze. With a naturally accident prone tendency I was never much of a boarder. Forever breaking something or injuring myself, I instead turned to manufacturing the boards. This quickly turned into a nice little business fabricating skateboards for friends and then the wider community. The technical knowhow came, of course, from my Dad. Who, if you haven’t guessed by now, is a fountain of practical knowledge.
With my Dad to fall back on, fixing problems around the home has always been pretty easy for me. That was until one day when I attempted to change a bathroom tap. It was right before Christmas and with a few days off work I attempted to clear some of those items that had been lingering on my home repairs list for ages. One of which was a constantly dripping bathroom tap.
I had the new tap. I had the tap spanner. I even had the confidence to think this would be easy and done in a matter of minutes. With the water turned off & new tap fitted, all was well. Of course, as you’ve already guessed, things weren’t quite so smooth when I turned the water back on. With jets of water spraying everywhere, panic set in. I realised for the first time that I actually had no idea what I was doing. I’d never changed a tap before. I’d never even seen a tap changed before. The evidence of this was clear. Soaking wet walls, a pile of wet towels, a telling “I told you so” look from my wife and slightly terrified kids watching on as I performed my best ‘Dr Banner changing into Hulk’ impression. What was I thinking?
I felt completely powerless and more than a touch stressed out.
To make matters worse my Dad, my long standing home repair guardian, was away traveling. Eventually, and gratefully, I managed to get hold of him via FaceTime, showed him the mess I was in and asked his advice. He sorted me out straight away, calmed down the situation and guided me through the fix*.
Knowledge is the ultimate power tool
It was with my tap fixed, celebratory cup of tea in hand, and whilst sat on the freshly mopped bathroom floor, that I realised the power of being able to get an expert on a video call who can provide advice at the touch of a button. Someone who has the experience and knowledge to empower you. Someone who can guide you to a quick and cost effective answer. Bingo. DAD was born that morning from a belief that knowledge is the ultimate power tool.
We are now on a mission to transform the way millions of people fix their homes.
When it came to naming the business we just asked the simple question. Who do you turn to when you need to find a solution to a household repair? The answer came naturally, “I’ve always just called my DAD.”
(*)For anyone reading this looking for tap fitting insights — it turns out tap washers are a thing. Who knew!