Jack has been part of the club since 2012 and is now a board member. We recently interviewed Jack to find out more about him.
What’s your name and what are you interested in?
My name is Jack Crofts and I am a serial entrepreneur from Sheffield. I’m passionate about business and everything about business – marketing, finance, networking and all the other things I have to do day to day in order to develop and build my companies. In my free time, when not doing businessy things, I enjoy travelling, skiing and drinking coffee. I always make sure I balance my business life and my social life.
Why did you come to the BiG YEC?
I first attended the club after winning the BiG Challenge in 2012, with my business Scrabtagz. Scrabtagz retailed and manufactured novelty gift items such as keyrings and name plates in the style of Scrabble tiles. The BiG Young Entrepreneurs Club offered me an opportunity to socialise with likeminded entrepreneurs and gave me ideas for new businesses in the future. As a young entrepreneur, I know how hard it is to get support and advice when wanting to turn an idea into a real life business, but that’s what the club was set up for. I was connected to important business figures who really helped me to develop my businesses and also develop me as a person.
Do you run a business currently?
I currently run two businesses. I started Vicuña Royale last September and have spent the last 9 months building up my brand, preparing to launch my business. Vicuña Royale specialises in garments such as scarves, socks and jumpers made from the fibre of Vicuña: the most exclusive and luxurious fibre in the world. Scarves retail for around £6,000 and suits can sell for over £30,000!
I have also partnered up with another young entrepreneur from Doncaster to start a milkshake franchise called “Just Shaken, not Stirred”. We setup milkshake stalls within schools and colleges all around the region, employing students to run the stalls. By ensuring it is students who run the franchises, with little interaction from us, we are helping young people get a real life experience of managing a stall and running a business.
What have you learnt from making mistakes?
I have made more mistakes than I can count and I will continue to make mistakes in the future, but I am not scared of mistakes. The mistakes I have made all taught me a valuable lesson and now ensure that I make changes in the future to stop it from happening again. One of my best pieces of advice for any entrepreneur is to never be afraid of mistakes, just overcome them and come out stronger.
Why are you interested in business?
I’ve been interested in business for as long as I can remember. I think my inspiration came from my late grandad, who was a businessman himself and started his business when he was just 16. Business is just what I enjoy and what I’m good at, which is why I’m so passionate about it.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I’m one of the most ambitious people I know, having so many ambitions and dreams for the future, all of which I am determined to achieve. I want to continue to build many businesses in many different sectors with many different purposes – I never want to stop building businesses. We are all inspired by someone and for me, it’s Richard Branson. I appreciate his determination to start a business no matter how many times people say “no” and I respect his passion for corporate responsibility- a value I incorporate into all of my businesses.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
I could go on all day giving advice to budding young entrepreneurs, but I will try to narrow it down to my top 5:
1- Never be afraid of making mistakes, they are the most important part of any journey to success in both business and life in general.
2- Don’t underestimate the value of determination. Things don’t always go the way we want but it is crucial to keep on trying. It will pay off in the end.
3- If you get the opportunity to network and attend events, always go. You never know who you will meet and what these people can offer you in the future.
4- Don’t be afraid to ask. I hate asking for things from people but it has to be done and I often do it. Free accounting, legal advice – anything. The worst they can say is no.
5- Enjoy what you’re doing and be passionate about it. If you don’t love your business, it will show and it will be hard for you to put in the effort required to succeed. What’s the point in doing it if you don’t enjoy it?
What is your Twitter handle/website?