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VW camper specialists secure micro loan funding

Candice and Matt Holbrook with Donna Strohmeyer, Development Bank of Wales (centre). Credit: Matthew Horwood

A passion for VW camper vans and outdoor living has inspired Cowbridge couple Candice and Matt Holbrook to start-up and grow their own sales and conversion business.

Based at Penllyn Industrial Estate between Bridgend and Cowbridge, Holbrook Dubs takes its inspiration from the young entrepreneur’s surname and the popular nickname for VW camper vans. It started trading in January 2020 when Candice and Matt converted their first camper van during lock-down having sold their own VW to help with costs.

The family-run business has since grown significantly offering bespoke packages including offering customers the option to pick a van along with bespoke conversion and exterior styling/paintwork. A £40,000 micro loan from the Development Bank of Wales will now be used to scale-up facilities so that the couple can recruit directly rather than rely on sub-contractors and invest in expanding the workshop with a new mezzanine floor. There are also plans to open a small retail shop on-site selling Holbrook Dubs merchandise, dub upgrades and styling.

Candice and Matt said: “Holbrook Dubs is a labour of love as is every camper van conversion that we complete. We’ve combined our love of the outdoors and our passion for VWs to break free from a 9-5 working life and do something that we both absolutely love.

“Our first weekend away as a couple was in a VW campervan. We then sold this to start the business and in less than two years we’re growing so quickly that we’re converting around 50 camper vans a year. The loan from the Development Bank means that we’ve now got the working capital to push forward and expand our business doing something that no one else does because everything that we do is totally bespoke. The support from the Development Bank means that we’ve got the confidence and the cash to achieve so much more.”

Donna Strohmeyer of the Development Bank of Wales said: “Micro loans are ideal for businesses who are looking to take the next step and want to scale-up and grow. Candice and Matt have got a great business with excellent potential that starts and ends with their passion for VWs. It’s what drives the very personal, bespoke service that they offer and why they are well-placed to capitalise on their success to date and grow their offering throughout the UK.”

The £32.5 million Wales Micro Loan Fund is financed entirely by Welsh Government. Loans between £1,000 and £50,000 are available with repayment terms ranging from one to ten years. Small businesses, sole traders and social enterprises based in Wales, or willing to move here can apply for the funding that includes a fast-track service.