These are a few interview style questions that we put to Matthew Fane Preedy about his battle with work life balance as he breaks into the drinks industry with his brand of fresh fruit and vegetable juiced cocktails served up with a kick… Alcohol!
Start-up projects and entrepreneurship are a big talking point right now with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. But what is it really like for a young adult trying to make their way in an ever-condensing market of health foods and brands? Read Matthew’s answers to find out.
What is your role now and what did you do before?
Vits+Kicks was born at the turn of 2016 when I made the transition from hospitality to working as a spirit, brand ambassador freeing up some time to try and launch the business. Until then my time had largely been spent working in cocktail bars across the county (mostly London) then later moving into bar management at ‘The Arts Club’ in Mayfair before opening the new members club ‘Upstairs At L’Escargot’ over in Soho.
Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?
Learning to maximize my time productively whilst having a full time job has definitely been the biggest challenge for me so far. Commitment to the occasional long day and preparation has been key for me. Pen and paper have become my closest friends! I’ve also scaled back the day job responsibilities this year in order to create more time to really try and move things further forward.
What is the dream, or where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?
My main focus at the moment is to create a good balanced lifestyle, supported purely off the back of Vits+Kicks. Once I’ve achieved that and I feel the brand has reached it’s full potential in its current form then I will start to look at which direction we can go to expand things further. There are lots of interesting ideas bouncing around at the moment but for now it has to be a case of one step at a time…. For now!
How do you find balancing lifestyle and downtime with your job?
I think when starting a new business you accept that a large chunk of your free time is going to be directed towards building the brand. Downtime is important so I like to try and stick to the premise of achieving all that I set out to by the end of the week. It doesn’t always necessarily pan out that way, but starting your own business has its rewards and generally doesn’t feel like work anyway. I think its fair to say I’ve had to quickly improve upon my organisation skills!
If you could give one piece of advice to a young spark looking to start their business, what would that be?
I’m still that young spark myself at the moment but the one thing I would say is be fully committed and know that all the hard work and positive energy you put in will eventually start making its way back to you!
What has been your favourite event you have attended this month? If not month, this year?
With it being January its been a quiet start to the year so far. I attended the London Summer Event Show for two days, which gave us a great opportunity to present to the events industry. So it’s hopefully looking like a potentially busy summer ahead!
And finally, what do you think is the best part about being an upcoming, self-employed business owner right now?
Opportunity. People at the moment are always looking for the next interesting idea and with the amount of new pop-up spaces showing up across London it really gives a new start-up like ourselves an opportunity to get some good traction. I think its an exciting time right now in that respect.
Thank you so much for talking to us and telling us about your experiences! We loved your shots when we tried them at LSES and making alcohol more healthy? What’s not to love!
Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter!
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