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It was really lovely to be asked by Holly Branson to take part in her series on entrepreneurship on virgin.com.
As a quick bit of background, I started at Virgin in 1996 as a kind of junior runner at Virgin Cola - it was a crazy, fun time in Virgin’s evolution and there were so many opportunities for intellectual, career growth - as well as getting inspiration from meeting creative, liberal, irreverent people. Richard always said, "with the right kind of people you can achieve anything", and it certainly felt that way.
Over the 17 years I worked in various brand roles and eventually rose up to become Group Brand Director of one of the most diverse brands on the planet. Every 10 minutes we were discussing how to apply our brand and marketing passions to a different industry sector and territory. Someone said it was like "brand yoga". I like to think I was entrusted with that top job for so long because one hopes I did it without too much ego or posturing, without stepping on others, rather by original thinking and hard work.
We worked out at Virgin that business needed to become a force for good. Virgin gave me the entrepreneurial bug to start my own business, and I wanted to do something good for society, to create a cool brand with a heart of gold. Looking at trends around the world I could see there was a gap for a really healthy socialising concept. Could it be launched in London? Could it be profitable? Could it make a positive contribution to society? Redemption was born. I knew I needed an industry expert and I eventually met Andrea who became my #workwife and now here we are, with 3 sites in London, a book, 2 products (detox tea and a candle) and heads bursting with ideas on how we can make it cool and sexy for people to do the right thing - whilst having fun.
This interview series with Holly actually turned out to be quite a personal one, I think because her questions were so insightful. So if you are interested in finding out what I have learned along my journey then please feel free to check it out here on virgin.com
top: me and Holly back in 2010 with some Virgin Stars winners at the Kensington Roof Gardens
below: me and Holly last month doing the interview