As part of our March/April issue we spoke to six businesses with a Sheffield base who moved to the city because of the great outdoors.
Ned Feehally Beastmaster
What made you start the business?
We really made the Beastmaker because we wanted a better product to train on. We made it for ourselves and we saw a huge difference in our abilities after using it. We made a couple for a few climber friends and realised that people actually really liked the idea and it just sort of grew from there. I have been climbing for 21 years now, I have won the British Championships three times but never a World Cup, that’s the goal.
How would you describe your product?
The Beastmaker was the first product we made, and it is effectively a wooden board with a collection of hand holes that is mounted onto a wall. You then hang of it to build up the strength of your fingers. Climbing really relies on strength of your fingers. You notice that climbing is easier after you have been training. We make the Beastmaker in the UK with factories here in Sheffield and in my home town, Leicester. We are passionate about being sustainable and so we only use Forestry Service Council Certified North American Tulip Wood to make the fingerboards and 100 per cent of the electricity for our workshop comes from renewable sources.
Why did you set the business up in Sheffield?
Well I moved to Sheffield from Leicester to study Biology at the University of Sheffield, but also for the climbing. I met my now business partner Dan at university and we would get out and go climbing together whenever we could. Sheffield is really the focal point for UK climbing being in such a great location with the Peaks not far away. It just seemed like the right place to set up the business when the idea came about.
Do you have any plans to expand the business further in the future?
Yes, we are always looking for new ways to expand and create new products to improve our climbing. We have adapted the Beastmaker throughout the years and brought out a couple of new products, including our Beastmaker app. Our experience allows us to create products that we see are needed but as a team of four at the moment we are limited on what we can produce.