Leader in Research and Development – North Wales

We’ve all experienced a bad smell at some point in our lives, whether it’s from pets, children, leaky sewerage, or other people’s food in the office. Well now there is a solution which doesn’t just ‘mask’ the offending odour, but actively removes it and stores it. We speak to entrepreneur, Gareth Williams, about his innovative invention in the wake of the firm being recognised and rewarded in the Research and Development Awards 2022.

Smell Away is a revolutionary, compact, portable smell removal and storage system designed for use in both the home and business. The brainchild of Gareth Williams, it all began when Gareth and his wife noticed that every time they sat down for their evening meal, one of their two cats would decide it was time to use the litter tray. Rather than install an extractor fan, Gareth took to the internet to find a device that would remove the smell and allow the couple to enjoy their dinner in peace.

“To my surprise there was nothing out there on the internet for smell removal and storage,” exclaims Gareth. “I spent quite some time looking. There are portable air purification devices and various portable air filtration devices, but nothing that removed smell and stored the smell internally.”

Being a serial entrepreneur, Gareth had a light bulb moment there and then. The creative inventor in him was sure he could produce something that would do the job and that he could market to others too. “I researched and researched and figured out what would theoretically work. Next step was to build a prototype, which I did, and test, test, test on every stink I could find.”

The research and development involved was tough as Gareth needed to find the secret ingredient in the carbon filter to increase performance, and lock the smell inside the device when it is switched off, as he found that smell seeped out of the standard carbon. The end result was a high-quality, durable device with a motor of German engineering, carbon of the highest quality, and a 30mm storage bed that is capable or removing and locking away unpleasant smells for a duration of 1-2 years.

With everything being outsourced, except assembly, dispatch, quality control and customer service, Gareth explains he is lucky to have an amazing team of people internally and externally who are as committed to the project as he is.

“There is one person who needs special recognition,” says Gareth. “And that is Nick Howard, an independent injection moulding specialist. I couldn’t have navigated the international tooling creation process without his extensive expertise.”

Gareth and the dedicated team at Smell Away now have a wealth of clients who are investing in the innovative unit, including pet owners, residential care homes, high street shops and businesses with communal areas too.

Recently, Gareth and the company were recognised in the Research and Development Awards for this pioneering product and its unique technology by being titled with Leader in Research and Development – North Wales. So what is next in store for the dynamic entrepreneur?

“We’re focusing on UK national brand awareness currently, and will soon head to the UK shopping channels,” Gareth enthuses. “Then the plan is to expand to the USA, Europe as well as international shopping channels.”

Despite having ambitious plans for expansion, Gareth tells us that it wasn’t plain sailing all the way, with time being his biggest challenge. “Nothing happens quickly during R&D, with massive money going out and nothing coming in. However, I have learned to believe. Believe in myself and drive forward with conviction.”

We wish Gareth and the entire team at Smell Away all the best as their products continue to serve a very important purpose.

- Acquisition International - Business Excellence Awards 2022