13 Inspiring Stories of Successful Businesses That Started in Garages

When a business has the most humble of beginnings, a low budget, and its ‘headquarters’ is located oh-so-proudly in a garage, we call it ‘a garage start-up.’ Surprisingly enough, many of the biggest multinational corporations, music bands, and other incredibly successful businesses were started just like that – in someone’s garage by a group of truly dedicated enthusiasts.

We here at Bright Side have compared the success stories of some of the most well-known companies, and we came to a conclusion: they all once started with nothing, so it seems clear that success has nothing to do with the amount of money that is invested in a business. It’s all about the idea, dedication, and courage.


© techeblog.com© blueorigin.com

At the dawn of the Internet era, back in 1994, Jeff Bezos founded his very own online bookstore. At the time, the main office was located in his garage, and an old door served as his desk. Today, Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. Its founder, Jeff Bezos, also owns a privately funded aerospace manufacturing and spaceflight services company named Blue Origin. One of the launch sites of Blue Origin is based right on Bezos’s privately owned land in Texas.    


© wikimedia© amazonaws.com

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak assembled their very first computers by hand in the garage of the Jobs family. In 2017, Apple will finish the construction of its new headquarters – a futuristic four-story building will be set in a 2.8 million-square-foot area accommodating 13,000 employees.


© stuffnobodycaresabout.com© shutterstock.com

Roy and Walt Disney filmed their first animated movie in their uncle’s one-car garage. Today, The Walt Disney Company is the highest-grossing media conglomerate in the world that produces movies and owns theme parks and TV channels.


© BrokenSphere/wikimedia© jejim/shutterstock.com

The company was first designed as a manufacturer of some sort of measuring equipment in Packard’s garage, with an initial investment of $538. One of the first customers of Hewlett-Packard was the former garage start-up The Walt Disney Company. Currently, Hewlett-Packard is among the best-known computer equipment manufacturers in the world.


© goodywebs.com© Robbie Shade

The world’s largest search engine was once a research project of two Stanford graduates. Today, Google is represented in numerous areas of scientific work and emerging technologies, such as unmanned vehicles, augmented reality, early disease detection, and wireless Internet.


© totalmotorcycle.com© Vaughn R. Larson

William S. Harley and his childhood friend Arthur Davidson used to carry out experiments with their bicycle in a woodshed. The boys attempted to attach a miniature engine to an ordinary bicycle. Thus, they came up with their very first motor-bicycle. Little did the young enthusiasts know that their future product was going to become the world’s most iconic motorcycle ever.

The Beatles

© thegilly.tumblr.com© milkthefranchise.com

The Quarrymen, the first rock band formed by John Lennon, was rehearsing in a garage and giving live performances at small public events. Soon after John Lennon was introduced to Paul McCartney, The Quarrymen’s leader invited McCartney to join the group. In 1960, The Quarrymen evolved into The Beatles.


© windows.microsoft.com© arquitectonica.com

There were times when the Microsoft team consisted of only three employees, including the co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Today more than 120,000 people work for the famous multinational company. Bill Gates topped the US wealth list and has been named the world’s richest person by Forbes several times.


© Patagonia Archive© coolerlifestyle.com

Yvon Chouinard has been crazy about climbing since he was 14. His family couldn’t afford the necessary equipment, so the boy turned his parents’ garage into a blacksmith shop where he began to make his own equipment, such as reusable pitons. Forty years later, his company, named Patagonia, still produces high-quality equipment for customers from all over the world.

Yankee Candle

© businesswest.com© wikimedia

A 14-year-old boy, whose name was Michael Kittredge, made his first scented candle out of melted crayons as a gift for his parents. The neighbors took notice and expressed their interest in buying his handmade candles. Today, the Yankee Candle Company sells scented candles and other souvenirs in more than 50 countries worldwide. The first Yankee Candle shop has been transformed into a mini museum. 

Lotus Cars

© piximus.net© Natursports/shutterstock.com

The founder of Lotus Cars had begun manufacturing his first racing cars in his parents’ garage. Later on, the production line was moved into old stables. So far, the Lotus Team has won the Formula One World Championship seven times.


© Manufacturing History© Paolo Bona/shutterstock.com

In 1945, a couple founded a company that manufactured photo frames. A couple of years later, the very same couple introduced a new doll, named after their daughter – Barbie. It made Mattel one of the biggest toy-producing companies in the world. 


© likesuccess.com© Keith Homan/shutterstock.com

An athletic student and his coach co-founded Blue Ribbon Sports, a small company that initially operated as a distributor for a Japanese shoe brand. Blue Ribbon Sports officially became Nike Inc. in 1971. So it really is ‘Just do it,’ isn’t it?