What does your role involve?
As the founder of Vitae London, a luxury watch startup, I’ve had to wear many hats. This has ranged from the day to day operations of the business, recruitment of new staff, the running of social media, engaging and utilising marketing tools and general sales. I do not have just one role within the business and am very happy with this diversity.
What is it the company does?
Vitae London is a luxury London watch brand founded in 2015 with the aim to create products that change lives and leave a lasting impact for generations to come. Vitae London supports a number of provinces in Africa and every watch that is purchased from Vitae London goes towards helping support a child’s education by providing vital supplies.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
Before starting Vitae London in 2015 I worked within sales for six years. I began working in a call centre selling broadband for a while until I moved on and became co-founder and sales director of a sports academy. When I had given all I could to the role I headed into the city and worked within various industries and roles from a business development manager to a senior recruitment consultant.
I got a real kick out of sales and truly loved the environment but felt I had to start something for myself with a real purpose.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I believe a great leader should be a visionary and charismatic enough to be able to effectively communicate their vision on to others. Such leaders are at a level of security internally that they can bring people on board who are more gifted than themselves and not feel threatened by their talent. These type of leaders manage to gain full trust and respect of their employees but still remain the driving force.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
The biggest challenge has been to build the brand, Vitae London, up out of nothing. As there are so many established and credible watch brands in the market we’ve really battled to ensure we stand out. The difficulty in this has been to market the brand effectively while ensuring I put the structures in place internally for growth, it has been tough but I definitely see it as a beautiful struggle.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Running a startup requires a lot of man hours and can be very time consuming, making it easy to forgot to take a step back and give yourself time to relax. For me community is everything. I’m part of a great church in London called Hillsong where a lot of my friends go so hanging out with them is a way I like to alleviate stress. It’s a great place to go and share my burdens and really does help lighten the load.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve always had a creative streak and knew I wanted to be a performer of some sort; either a musician, a rapper or a dancer. Though ultimately I knew that I wanted to make a positive impact on others and give to those that needed it. Now that I’m older I feel I am fulfilling that vision through Vitae London.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
I wouldn’t say I have any particular pet hates as such but if I were to choose something I dislike within the workplace it would have to be disengaged employees. I’m very focused and dedicated to the cause I am working towards with Vitae London and I’d like whoever is on my team to be equally enthusiastic and motivated to build the brand with me.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
I want Vitae London to become a globally recognised brand. Not only recognised for great products but for a great heart and its social impact. We want to inspire thousands to buy our products to directly change thousands of lives. We also want to inspire other businesses to do the same and for them to understand that businesses can be profitable while doing good in the world!
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Consistency is key. I continue to learn more and more every day that it’s in the mundane tasks that the big wins come from. As business leaders it is often easy to lose sight of this and not appreciate the efforts that are taken to carry out these tasks. However, if we can be consistent in the smaller tasks it can produce huge results and benefit long term.