Thursday, 17 March 2011

Diary of a Start-up: Learning from Others - the importance of a smile

Dripping with sweat as I evacuated the treadmill last night, I ran into a guy that I'd consider to be a friend now, someone that is a truly inspirational character.

Previously in the wine trade, for the last six months Patrick Gavin has been building one of the most simple and fascinating businesses I have seen in my career looking at start-ups. The business has a great name that sits in line with the simplicity and functionality of the product:

The company manufacture and distribute pop up flower vases. You buy flowers, you buy a card but where do you stand the flowers if you don't have a relevant vase? It's a simple need with a fantastic solution. I urge you to visit their site to check out their products.

What impresses me most about Patrick is the way he has grown the business in the past 6 months. He has gained contracts with major suppliers (billion £ businesses) that have agreed to distribute on very favourable terms, and made the business global almost from day one. Before Christmas I introduced Pat to Rob Holdway at Giraffe Innovation, an expert in business sustainability. They had a great meeting and to have an expert like Rob endorse the product so profoundly - introducing Patrick to his Sainsbury's contacts - is testament to the power of positivity and a willingness to meet new people.

I love Pat's 'can do' attitude and his patience in building the business. He admits that it was very much a 'right place at the right time' opportunity that saw him running the business but props to him for taking the leap onto the narrow road and making it happen. Key lesson - get out there and do it!

Hence, enough blogging....back to promotion and entering awards!


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