The Fridgi Story
How chasing a dream, any dream, can change your life.
Fridgi founder Ian Craigie’s lifelong dream is simple – to be a professional race driver. Aged 26, armed with $30 and a fascination for how a good simple photo can make a person smile he started a business hoping it would one day fund his dream. The result is Fridgi, and a range of simple products, that Ian invented, patented and originally made by hand on his parent’s veranda.
Millions of Fridgi’s now display photos in homes and offices around the world, generating millions of smiles every day (we believe several billion smiles have been generated by Fridgis so far). Ian still dreams of competing in motor races and his is an inspiring story of entrepreneurial success fueled by a passion.
Ian packed over 1,000,000 kg’s of sand by hand to fund the start of his racing career. He worked in a gravel yard by day, studied a business degree by night and raced Go-Kart’s on the weekends (winning his first ever race). A scholarship to work as a mechanic (unpaid) at the Spenard-David Race Driving school in Canada saw him working on a fleet of Formula 2000 cars. In Canada he won in his first weekend racing F2000 cars and earned Rookie of the Year in his first season.
Next it was England, the hub of world motor sport, arriving with money for 1 race and a few weeks rent, he secured a banking job to pay for racing, rent and food – in that order. Racing in the prestigious Jim Russell World Challenge, Ian was leading when a major accident stopped the race (as he glimpsed the chequered flag). With no time left on his visa or money in the bank he returned to Australia. Determined and not beaten he tried another tact to fund his dream and started Fridgi, building up the business, still aspiring to compete in the races he grew up watching as a boy including Le Mans, Indianapolis & Bathurst.
Where we are now & what’s on the horizon
Fridgi has come a long way in the first 10 years. Manufacturing has moved from hand made on the veranda to a purpose built factory with CAD manufacturing. Sales have grown from friends and local craft markets to outlets and customers across the globe and the internet has made Fridgi’s easily available to people worldwide. The innovation is ongoing and there are many more exciting new things in development.
Post-a-Digi>> is a product (& website) that provides a simple, inexpensive alternative to sending a card to friends or family. It came about because Ian began sending photos and Fridgi’s to friends to say thanks for parties and weekends away. The response from his friends was so positive that he created Post-a-Digi so anyone can do the same. Now you can go to www.postadigi.com>> and send a photo, with a Fridgi, and a message, to friends or family anywhere in the world, for the same price as sending a good quality card.
As for the racing the dream and desire live on and, in a few more years a race at Le Mans may well be a reality. The journey has definitely been worth it so far !