Edinburgh security firm boss launches fitness equipment venture
An Edinburgh entrepreneur has turned his attention to the home fitness market after demand for his private security business was hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Angus McNaughton Leishman has launched The Weight Stand Company, which sells products such as barbells, plates and dumbbells. It has seen demand bulk up both north and south of the Border amid tighter lockdown restrictions as consumers look to work out at home.
McNaughton Leishman is already the founder and boss of Gent Security, which supplies “high-calibre, personable” security for a range of venues and events – with clients spanning the UK and including The Pear Tree in Edinburgh, the Royal Highland Show, and private parties for celebrities. While business has picked up again, its workers now amount to 15, compared to 40 pre-pandemic.
He told The Scotsman that the security firm had a great start to the year, with a packed schedule. “As soon as Covid hit we saw a huge drop in business. With no income for both the business and myself, and hearing of a lot of people and work colleagues handing in their notices for the flats and moving home to family to cut costs, I decided I wanted to stay, find another opportunity and keep my business afloat.”
The entrepreneur, who grew up on a sheep farm in Perthshire, found that with gyms closed, he was restricted to running and bodyweight exercises, but when he looked online to buy weights they were “extremely” overpriced or had large waiting lists.
He called a friend who has a small family farm and fabricating business in Fife, who agreed to make McNaughton Leishman some stands and plates, which it had never done. “Before we knew it, I was selling two to three tonnes of weight plates a week and around 20 stands,” he said, noting that the firm went in at a competitive price point.
He started doing physically distanced local deliveries, and when word spread online, he began selling throughout the UK, including London, and to Ireland. He also drafted in his sister to help out.
“We took on another supplier in Alloa to fulfil the demand for our orders of Olympic bars. [They] are pieces of art and have been very highly recommend to a lot of people in the fitness industry.”
McNaughton Leishman has also seen more demand from women for the fitness products than from men. “We get a lot of return customers,” he also said. “It’s amazing what you can do in your own house.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.
Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. Visit https://www.u2swisshome.com/subscriptions now to sign up. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.