With Franck Pagès, the dogs have their protective vest

the necessity
Specializing in making equipment to protect dogs from boar tusks, FP Concept, in Lézignan, employs 10 people and plans to move to expand.

This is called niche business. A small market that meets the expectations of a specific client, has not yet or is not sufficiently exploited. However, despite the wide eyes of his relatives and his various interlocutors, Franck Pagès immediately believed in his idea: to make protective vests for hunting dogs so that they would not be injured, or even die. to be affected, by a load of pigs.

“If you want to do it, do it, but there are other priorities”

To understand his thinking, you have to study his career, fed by family experience: “I started with my father, who led Technique et sécurité, a glove protection company. Espuna,” he said. . During the time responsible for research and development as an employee, Franck Pagès became interested in a local need that was unusual, expressed by Claude Mazet, an important man in the town in terms of hunting and fishing: “He said There was a real need for protective vests for dogs. We were in 2008: I even saw myself at the time proposing their design to the factory director. He told me: I saw that you have shining eyes; you want to do it, do it, but there are other priorities “.

The evening after work, with a textile engineer, Franck Pagès will examine the subject, measure dogs of different breeds, study their morphology. But the idea was suppressed, due to the lack of a real business project around the file. “In 2016, after a change in management at Espuna, I decided to get started: it’s the year of my 50th birthday, now or never”. The concept of FP was recently born in a workshop with only a name, conceived in the barn in a winery located between Luc-sur-Orbieu and Ferrals-les-Corbières. With him, an employee recruited by Pôle Emploi: “I cut and he assembled”, recalls Franck Pagès. From fair to fair, word of mouth soon rewarded the amount of efforts made to track down a company that has since been filled with orders! At least 1,400 canine vests, made of polyethylene, the same fiber used by the fencers, but also 300 pants or overalls for the stingers, which protect them from the plants, come out each year from the workshop where ten people worked: “It’s very easy, the annual growth is between 20 and 30%.We can’t grow very much because, even if Pôle emploi helped me a lot, we had to recruit, magbansay … ‘a snap of the fingers’.

Hire 5 to 6 more people

The redemption of a success is based on quality, made-to-measure (35 different sizes, adapted to each breed, so that each dog is effectively protected while remaining comfortable), listening, advice … To such an extent many hunters from all over France prefer FP concept products, which are more expensive (a vest costs € 300), over foreign competitors. With his son Rémi, a salesman, Franck wanted to keep his company on the human dimension: “I wanted to hire five to six more people but didn’t that I can stay in these places that have become very small ”.

This is why a move is planned in Lézignan, in the Caumont area, near Pôle emploi: “The building permit for a 350 m2 building will be submitted in the coming days. The current situation is not very good. Because. at the cost of construction but I want to live there early next year ”, he hoped.

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