Quick questionnaire with Patrick Dudley-Williams, founder and director of menswear brand Reef Knots and Rise chairman.
Tell us about your brand in two sentences?
We’re a menswear brand designed to remind people of life far away from the office. We started with printed ties, but we now offer a wider lifestyle offering including swim shorts, shirts and other accessories.
Where do you sell your products?
The vast majority of our business is online, but we also have a store in the City of London in the famous Leadenhall Market.
What inspired you to start a fashion business?
I wanted to escape a boring finance career and starting a fashion brand seemed much more exciting.
What was your background before starting your business?
My background was as a portfolio manager in the stock market. I spent 13 years buying and selling stocks and advising other people on it.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of running a business?
It’s certainly not money as everything is reinvested for growth. Freedom, I suppose. I live a very busy life and the ability to manage my time is very rewarding.
What is the most difficult aspect of running a business?
Getting through all the things that need to be done in a day. There just aren’t enough hours in my life. I actually made a conscious decision recently to sleep less!
What question do you get asked the most?
Why aren’t you wearing a tie?
How many hours a week do your work?
I couldn’t tell you. If I’m awake, I’m generally working or looking after children.
How do you relax away from work?
I spend time with my children. It’s not that relaxing but I’ve never been able to stay still for long. I can’t watch a whole movie or sunbathe. I drives me insane.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
Not to get into business with idiots!