A former student start-up has graduated into an international business with a multi-million-pound turnover - and now a new name.
Luggage shipping service MyBaggage.com began a decade ago as Uni Baggage helping students transport items between home and university.
Founder Paul Stewart spotted the opportunity while studying engineering at Edinburgh University when he encountered difficulties shipping his belongings to and from his home in Belfast.
He set up his business while in his second year at university and had reached £100k in sales by the time he graduated in 2011. Resisting parental calls to take a ‘proper job’ Paul instead moved back home to Belfast and focused on growing the business while working out of his parents’ home.
He grew the turnover substantially within 18 months and was ready to move into his first office and take on his first two team members. Along the way he managed to negotiate a deal with a number of shipping giants which made his company the most cost-effective method of sending luggage anywhere in the world.
After focusing on marketing and web development over the following years Paul saw annual sales jump into the millions. My Baggage recently registered an American subsidiary and is starting to grow its presence in the US.
My Baggage now ships to more than 40,000 international routes, all bookable online with the UK to US route is one of the company’s most popular.
Paul hopes their presence within the USA will help them win business shipping items between the US and other countries.
Typical customers are people relocating for work, migrating to a new country or students studying abroad.
With more than 20 people now in the team in Belfast and plans for further expansion into Australia and other markets, the company recently changed name from Uni Baggage to My Baggage .
The rebrand followed extensive customer research which reflected a lingering perception of the Uni Baggage brand as being exclusively for students.
Paul said: “Uni Baggage was a great name to get us to this point but the customer research we did showed it placed a glass ceiling on the business.
“The new name reflects our offering as a luggage delivery service for everyone regardless of age, location or life stage. Simply put, we are the experts at shipping personal effects, whether in boxes or suitcases, anywhere in the world within a few days and we do it cheaper than anyone else.”