*As seen in The Logbook Issue 4.
Founded in 2014 as a Kickstarter campaign where over 400 backers pledged over £41k to get the business off the ground, Build with Hubs have created a new and exciting way of building for the glamping, camping and DIY industry.
What has made them so popular is how simple they make erecting bespoke tent structures. The Hubs are clever snap together connectors that make durable geodesic domes fun, easy and quick to build. Once the balls are screwed onto the sticks (of the right lengths) two people could easily build a dome in an hour. Making this perfect not only for serious site owners but also if you’re making a hideaway in the garden.
Chris Jordan and Mike Paisley founded the business.
Chris is a physicist at heart, and was a technical web developer by trade, but also very much a hands-on problem solver, with a love of engineering and mechanics.
Mike was a Creative Director at a London-based brand and design consultants, winning a few awards along the way, but curious to tackle broader challenges.
After many years working in their respective fields they were interested in the challenge of designing and creating a physical product, and learning about the process from beginning to end.
OPPORTUNITIES TO INNOVATE. THE INSPIRATION.
Hubs began when Chris purchased a small 3D printer around the same time as he built a geodesic dome on his allotment using old chestnut fence pails, metal eyelets, twine, lots of glue and a big jig! It was beautiful structure but hard and time consuming to make. He thought perhaps they could design something that would make it easier to build a geodesic dome using wood. After much trial and error, and many 3d printed iterations, the Hub design was born.
Keen to keep things UK-based, the hubs and ball connectors are injection moulded on the South Coast in the UK, whilst the accompanying metal work is sourced from a UK supplier. The kits themselves are compiled and packed-up in house.
One of the definite beauties of Building With Hubs is that every design is unique depending on the materials used. They have a straightforward online “stick guide” which enables everyone to quickly and easily calculate the stick lengths that will be needed to create the dome size they want. There is also a help site with further ideas and information on different approaches. If that isn’t enough, they’ll even speak to customers to discuss what they’re looking to create.
Considering that their start is seeded in the support of early customers there is a value on relationships that is at the core of the business. The customers are very much part of the team and it is important to Build With Hubs that there is a strong, open and transparent relationship, one that encourages feedback and communication. They’ve loved seeing the domes that buyers make and they share the images that buyers send in across social media channels with the hashtag #domedone.
New products and services are also being added for the new year. These include greenhouse covers and garden sails that are perfect for creating a shaded spot as an addition to the dome. They are also working on an education pack, with lesson plans linking to the National Curriculum, to enable teachers to use the kits for multiple age groups. There is a lot of interest in the educational value of the Hubs as the applications continue to grow.
PRICE: Standard dome kit cost £114 including postage.
ADDRESS: Build With Hubs, Wood Farm, Surrey.
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +44(0)1483 905 482