Start-up loan program propels Pontyclun business to main stage

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With the help of a start-up loan from the British Business Bank, Tarian Drums will soon see their bespoke drum kits performing on some of the world’s most iconic stages, including Lollapalooza Paris and the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Pontyclun-based bespoke drum maker Tarian Drums, the first of its kind in Wales, will soon see its drums on some of the world’s biggest stages, a major feat for a local Welsh company first set up by two close friends in 2020.

Tarian Drums produce and manufacture premium bespoke drums using locally sourced, sustainable Welsh wood and materials for some of the world’s most renowned professional drummers. The company recently signed a deal to supply custom kits to British rockers, The Struts, who have over 2 million streams on Spotify and have opened for the Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones and Guns N’ Roses.

The business was first conceptualized at the start of the pandemic in 2020 by former professional drummer, Rhys Thomas. With a genuine love for the drums from an early age, Rhys went on to attend BIMM Institute, the UK’s leading music school in Brighton, and then played for The Voice semi-finalist Ash Morgan.

“I’ve always had a passion for music and playing drums,” says Rhys, “but never in a million years would I have thought of creating my own drum kits and customizing them for the drummers I liked. have admired for my whole life.

“Before the pandemic hit, I traveled a lot to work with the bands and artists I played for. However, with a young family, I began to wonder if my profession was viable in the long term. It wasn’t until we went into lockdown and the industry was turned upside down that I had time to think about my future.

“I had always dreamed of making my own drum kit and growing up with my grandfathers who were both carpenters, I had a pretty good idea of ​​how I would make my own drum kit if I ever had one. After sharing this ambition with my now business partner, Geraint Frowen, we both decided to start our own company, Tarian Drums, producing high-end bespoke drum kits for customers around the world.

Rhys and Geraint were given £10,000 to launch Tarian Drums through the British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans scheme, which they used to create sustainable drum moulds, in conjunction with the University’s engineering department of South Wales, and to cover the costs of sustainable materials such as water-based. painting and sourcing local sustainable wood for the drum castings.

They accessed their British Business Bank seed loan through Business in Focus, a process Rhys describes as “quick and easy” with their application submitted in December and the loan received in January.

The British Business Bank’s Start-up Loan Scheme offers government-backed loans of up to £25,000 per person, up to a maximum of £100,000 per business, facilitated by delivery partners in Wales like Business in Focus based in Bridgend. In addition to funding, successful applicants receive 12 months of free mentorship and advice.

“It’s only been a few months since we received our loan,” Rys said, “but it has made all the difference in allowing us to create more drum kits through our investment in drum molds that can be used a hundred times. Due to the increased volume we are now able to produce, we are getting more and more orders from customers every day.”

Bethan Bannister, Senior Manager for Wales at British Business Bank, said:

“Tarian Drums, a local Welsh company driven by a genuine passion for music and quality craftsmanship, is exactly what our Startup Loan scheme exists for – to bring entrepreneurs’ dreams and ideas to life.

“Start-ups are an integral part of our economy, and we need to give them every opportunity to succeed, and the British Business Bank is playing our part in creating a fertile environment for them to thrive. Over the past 10 years, the Start Up Loans program has provided over 4,100 individual loans to entrepreneurs in Wales, worth over £40 million.

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