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Ones Trainers are a fresh local, Birmingham unisex leisurewear trainer company. With the diagnosis of his daughter with Leukaemia in 2017 and the need to feel comfort and hope through over 2 and half years of treatment, founder Simon Caulton decided to design a comfortable pair of shoes to help people on their own journey through life. Five years on, and with access to STEAMhouse Incubator’s facilities and support Simon has succeeded in successfully launching his brand into the marketplace.

Image of Ones leisure trainers logo

During COVID, the business support continued and there have been (Incubator) webinars every week covering all aspect of my business, which have been brilliant. As a start-up going it alone, a constant stream of communication throughout has helped me feel connected.


In 2019 following the diagnosis of his daughter with Leukaemia and over two and a half year of treatment. Simon Caulton embarked on the idea of setting up a leisurewear trainer business.

The experience of struggling in the hospital ward, holding on to hope, inspired him to create a comfortable pair of shoes, to help people take the first step in their own lives – which inspired the name ‘Ones’.

With low funds and a need for advice and support on how to build his idea into a product and take it to market, Simon reached out to the STEAMhouse Incubator for space to work, a place to bounce business ideas off and access to legal and product development help from experts. 


Following joining the STEAMhouse Incubator, the COVID pandemic initially impacted his business plans – forcing him to postpone development of his trainers and find a new supplier. 

Through regular 1-1 catch-ups Richard and Jennine in the STEAMhouse Incubator Programme helped Simon create a milestone action plan, review the situation of the lost supplier and put in contact with reliable sources and funding opportunities to continue his journey. This enabled Simon to get funds to develop his prototype fully and move forward with release.

Simon was also able to take advantage of the opportunities of STEAMhouse Incubator partners, getting legal and accountancy support to ensure his businesses was in a solid position.


Following the provision of funding and workshop support through the Incubator, Simon was able to successfully develop and create three ranges of trainer in which he could launch through his business. The Broughton, Cooksley and Cantlow – all named after the Ronald McDonald House rooms he stayed with his daughter in while she was recovering from Leukaemia. 

Due to the pandemic and the chance for additional support from the Incubator, Simon was able to re-evaluate his trainers to now include sustainable materials, making them more environmentally friendly and last longer. 

In addition to this, Simon has been able to ensure a percentage of every trainer sold is donated to Blood Cancer UK, and has agreed to continue working with Ronald McDonald Charity to support others in situations like himself. 

I have personally grown from the experience, I have come out of lockdown far more motivated and aware in certain areas. My biggest step with the business is now to focus on marketing and awareness...I have purposely chosen the Incubators online workshops to help me and I am much more confident in this area.


STEAMhouse Incubator offers business startup and product planning milestones to help you review and assess your journey to launching. Alongside access to physical space, STEAMhouse offers a chance to engage with external professionals to ensure your business model is sound and profitable.


Please send us an enquiry and someone will be in contact you to discuss how we can help.

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