After graduation, life went by bloody fast. My main aim was to try and get a job in the design industry. I completed a successful internship at Wieden+Kennedy and was offered a job there, but decided to turn it down.
Before that, for my final university project, I had created a project called Candy Mechanics, which started with a simple spelling mistake. The brief was ‘Know who you are and tell the world,’ and I ended up writing, ‘I’m a lickable guy’ instead of ‘I’m a likeable guy.’ I decided to make myself lickable and created my own head as a lollipop.
Soon after my internship I was given the opportunity to develop Candy Mechanics, setting up shop at an exploratory space in the bottom of Selfridges. The idea was that by the end of the six weeks, you’d have a product to sell. The public could come and watch what we were doing, and we’d 3D scan and print people’s faces. The business started from there.
None of my friends could understand why on earth I’d turn down a job at one of the best advertising agencies in the world. But when I had the opportunity to do my own thing, it didn’t really appeal to me to sit in front of a computer and work on other brands any more. At this point, I don’t think I’d ever go back and be a designer.
Personally I have been through many ups and downs, and I am sure there are many more to come. My brother put me up for a while, and even now I have a box for a bedroom. I would say the major challenge has been converting from a creative into a business man and keeping my head screwed on.
At the beginning, I floated along solely on passion for the idea and blue-sky thinking, and I made a lot of wrong decisions. Now I have a firm grasp on how a business runs and what we need to do to make that happen (sort of). I have pitched to some very influential investors, businesses and individuals as well as building two products and a fantastic, passionate and driven team. I pay six full-time staff, including myself, and I am even going on a holiday this year!