Rob Evans and Brad Aspess
From humble beginnings on eBay to winning the coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise, online retailer Rarewaves is conquering the world from The Light Box in Chiswick
While running music and video companies in the 1980s and 90s, Brad Aspess amassed a huge collection of vinyl. When he started putting his ‘doubles’ on eBay several industry contacts asked Brad if he could sell their products too. That was in 2005 and it was to prove the inspiration for his global online business, Rarewaves.
Today, Rarewaves works with over 150 supply partners and retails 650,000 entertainment products annually – music, DVDs, video games, electronics, gifts and gadgets – on marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, GAME and Fnac. Last year, the company distributed to 175 countries worldwide.
Based at Workspace’s The Light Box building in Chiswick, Rarewaves employs 21 people and has a sister operation in the USA. In 2012 it was ranked the 19th fastest growing tech company in the UK by The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and this year was named the SME with the 66th fastest growing international sales by the same paper’s Export Track 100.
Rarewaves’ most prestigious accolade came recently when it won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2018. ‘It was a great honour,’ says Rob Evans, the Business Development Director. ‘It took us by surprise. We sent off the application last year and thought no more about it.’ Two months ago Brad and Rob proudly attended a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH Prince Charles and the Duke of Kent. ‘The award will definitely open doors and show potential partners
who we are and what we’re about.’
Rarewaves first joined Workspace in 2008 at Grand Union Studios in Ladbroke Grove. Three years ago, the operation moved further west to Chiswick’s The Light Box. ‘The flexibility and facilities here are perfect for us,’ explains Rob. ‘If we grow by 50% in a year – and that’s absolutely possible – we can simply take a larger space within the building. We won’t have to search for new premises.’ In addition, The Light Box fits what Rob describes as the ‘young, vibrant and multi-cultural’ ethos of Rarewaves. ‘Our team has a large spread of nationalities and this environment mirrors that.’
What’s next for Rarewaves? ‘To continue to expand,’ says Rob. ‘That means new markets, new products and new partnerships.’ Clearly, it’s a business that is going to be making more waves from The Light Box.
The Light Box,
111 Power Road, W4 5PY
The Light Box
Whether you’re looking for one desk or to locate a small business, Workspace business centres provide functional, stylish office spaces on flexible terms across London. You will be part of a like-minded community of start-ups and developing and established companies who share a determination to succeed.
Facilities at The Light Box include:
* Newly refurbished reception and atrium
* Stunning modern studios with wooden flooring and large windows
* Secure, reliable and super-fast Wi-Fi
* Independent, fully licensed on-site café/bar
* Club Workspace, a co-working lounge
* High-spec, bookable meeting rooms equipped with plug and play technology
* Staffed reception during the working week
* A dedicated Centre Management team to look after the building and community
* On-site parking and cycle racks
* Shower facilities for cyclists and gym users
* Full disabled access
* 24-hour access and security (including CCTV monitoring)
The Light Box
111 Power Road,
Chiswick, London W4 5PY