Esquire Self-Made, our entrepreneurial summit now in its second year, examines what it takes to start, run and grow a successful business in 2019. Bringing together founders and leaders from a variety of high-profile enterprises and professions, join us for a day of lively keynote talks, panel discussions and unmissable networking opportunities.
Our panellists will be passing on valuable insight and lessons they’ve learned the hard way, from honing your concept and raising initial finance through to marketing and future-proofing your business as it grows. If you’re considering starting your own project or shifting careers, this could be the next step to creating your own story.
This year’s schedule timings are soon to be announced, but the sessions will be as followed (more to be announced):
11.30-12.10 How To Build An Ethical Brand: And Why It’s Essential For Every Start-Up (Hosted by Caryn Franklin)
12.15-12.55 Longevity In Business (Hosted by Helen Brocklebank)
14.00-14.40 Year Two & Beyond – How To Take Your Business To The Next Level (Hosted by Jonathan Moules)
15.50 – 17.00 Networking Drinks
WHAT TO EXPECT
Take a look at the highlights from last year’s Esquire Self-Made, held at Glaziers Hall.
In Association With
Erling Kagge – Explorer, entrepreneur, author, art collector and publisher
Oliver Spencer – Designer
Straight out of art school, Oliver Spencer was making a living selling second hand clothes on Portobello Road when he was given the opportunity to raid the seconds rolls of Stephen Walters’ silk mill. Full of ideas, he jumped at the chance to turn the leftover ecclesiastical fabrics he found into waistcoats. With the opening of the Piccadilly Arcade store, the Favourbrook brand was born – making formalwear for people with a passion for textiles. An exciting new development for the Favourbrook brand is a store opening in the near future at 16 Clifford Street.
The Oliver Spencer label was founded in 2002. Oliver Spencer the brand is the vision of Oliver Spencer the man. Oli wanted to create something new: a range of clothing with all the quality and craft of premium tailoring, but with a relaxed modern style. The philosophy? Quality needn’t mean formality; casual needn’t mean careless. That philosophy found plenty of adherents. And from a single shop on London’s Lambs Conduit Street, Oliver Spencer has gone on to open four more shops, and an international online business — as well as being stocked in many of the world’s leading department stores, from Selfridges to Liberty of London to Mr Porter. The brand was the winner of Menswear Designer at the WGSN Global Fashion Award 2013 and has been nominated for British Menswear Designer at the British Fashion Awards.
Alongside his distinctive design style, Oli is uncompromising in the standards he sets for production and provenance. That means the company seeks out the finest fabrics and yarns from artisanal British and Italian mills, and makes every garment in only the best European factories and workshops. Around 40% of the collection is made in England.
Spencer has developed a sophisticated and intelligent design approach and continues to design a complete, contemporary wardrobe for the modern, fashion-conscious man. He draws inspiration from the world of art and architecture and London’s ever-evolving subcultures. Oli is an active member of the British fashion community, and lectures on the Menswear course at the University of the Arts Central Saint Martins school.
Pip Murray – Founder of Pip & Nut
Pip Murray, 30, is the Founder of the nut butter brand Pip & Nut, which offers a range of eight naturally nutritious nut butters. A keen marathon runner and a fierce foodie, Pip had the inspiration for the brand when she couldn’t find a delicious but nutritious protein source to fuel her training. Taking matters into her own hands, she set about creating her own brand and starting on her Pip & Nut journey. So far it’s encompassed everything from market trading and crowdfunding to national supermarket launches and international expansion. All of Pip & Nut’s products are 100% natural, with absolutely no refined sugars, additives or palm oil. Now four years old, Pip & Nut can be found in 5 international markets and over 5,500 stores around the UK and Europe.
Ryan Chetiyawardana – Businessman, bartender and author
Ryan Chetiyawardana (A.K.A Mr Lyan) has been involved in several of the World’s best bars for over fifteen years. He helped take the last six of these onto national and international titles and all featured in the ‘World’s Best Bars’ list for 50 Best, and in 2018, Dandelyan was named “World’s Best Bar”. He has been named UK bartender of the Year twice and in 2015 was named ‘International Bartender of the Year’. He helps design and judge several notable national and international competitions whilst acting as a mentor to competitors, and helping shape the new wave of competitions. Aside from cocktail and bar competitions Ryan has been a judge for the GQ Food & Drinks Awards, the Guild of Food Writer’s awards, and the Fortnum & Mason Food & Drinks Awards.
Ryan has been a contributing columnist to the likes of Imbibe, Class Magazine, PUNCH, The Gourmand and the Telegraph Magazine and a cocktail and drinks writer for The Huffington Post and Whisky Magazine. He has designed cocktail programs for Unfiltered and The Whisky Yearbook and also for the likes of Death by Burrito, Virgin Airways, The Whisky Show, Elliot’s, Cinnamon Club, Bao, Black Axe Mangal, Oldroyd, Rick Stein, Selfridges and Brewdog. Ryan’s menus have featured in many talks around the world and in 2016 the menu at Dandelyan was voted ‘World’s Best Menu’ at the Spirited Awards and then again in 2018, and also Best Menu at the 2017 Class Awards and Best Avant Garde and Best Overall Menu at the 2017 Mixxit Menu Awards.
Ryan is also known as an innovator having given talks across the world in the likes of the US, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Azerbaijan, China, Australia and Russia on pioneering drinks practice. He was named ‘Hot Stuff’ at the Imbibe Awards 2012, and was named ‘Innovator of the Year’ at the 2014 awards and again at the 2016 awards. He was named in Wallpaper’s ‘Next Generation’ list in 2014 and was listed in the Top 1000 Most Influential Londoners 2014 – 2018. Ryan was the ‘Spirits Ambassador’ for Imbibe Live 2014 and 2015, and has presented at the British Science Museum, Omnivore, Gastronomica, Star Chefs, Noma’s MAD Symposium and Future Fest amongst others. In 2017, Ryan was named in Debrett’s ‘500 Most Influential Britons’, named in the Telegraph’s 100 Food Power List, noted as “the World’s Most Awarded Bartender”, and named ‘Personality of the Decade’ at the Imbibe Awards. Committed to challenging conventions, Ryan was awarded one of the inaugural ‘Sustainable Spirit Awards’ at Tales of the Cocktail 2016 for work on environmentally conscientious practice – something Ryan has initiated and championed in the bar world, including being credited with coining the term “Closed Loop Cocktails” during his sustainability lectures in 2011.
However, Ryan also liaises regularly with the home enthusiast having given talks based on home cocktails at many events and seminars around the world. He has directed pieces geared towards the home bartender and the novice through platforms such as social media, Huffington Post and in-house magazines for Harrods, Eurostar, Fortnum and Mason and Virgin Airways and many other media publications around the world as well as through his book ‘Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and friends’. His latest book ‘Good Together’ further explores this, with food from some of the world’s leading chefs. Ryan is a member of the Guild of Food Writers, a member of the Gin Guild and a Keeper of the Quaich.
He has several ‘Mr Lyan’ bars. His first, ‘White Lyan’ – the first cocktail bar in the world to feature no perishables – which was awarded ‘Best New International Cocktail Bar’ at the 2014 Spirited Awards, closed to make way for ‘Super Lyan’ in April 2017, and sustainably driven restaurant ‘Cub’ in September 2017 – all three being awarded a rare 5 star review from Timeout. ‘Dandelyan’ launched on Southbank within the Sea Containers Hotel in October 2014, and like its sister bar was awarded a 5 star review from Timeout, and ‘Best New International Cocktail Bar’ at the 2015 Spirited Awards. White Lyan was named No1 in Timeout’s 50 Best London bars, and at the 2016 Bar Awards, was named most Creative Bar, whilst Dandelyan was awarded Best Bar Team. At the 2017 Class Awards, Dandelyan was awarded ‘Best Hotel Bar’ ‘Best Menu’ and ‘Best Bar’. At the 2017 Spirited Awards, Dandelyan was named as ‘Best International Bar Team’, ‘Best International Hotel Bar’ and finally, ‘World’s Best Bar’. Super Lyan was named ‘Best Bar’ at the 2018 Foodism Positive Change awards, and Cub was named ‘Restaurant Bar of the Year’ at the Evening Standard Restaurant Festival Awards. In 2019, Dandelyan was closed to make way for a new approach to cocktails in the form of Lyaness in the Sea Containers Hotel, whilst Super Lyan was relocated to Amsterdam, and Silver Lyan announced for Washington DC later in the year.
Ryan’s range of pre-bottled cocktails were designed to encourage friends to enjoy cocktails in new settings, and took away the barriers to a world class drink. The bottles joined the company of ‘world’s best’ alongside Ryan and the bars when each of the five were awarded medals at the ‘International Pre-mixed Drinks Challenge’ and the “Candelit Manhattan” was named ‘World’s Best’ with the overall trophy.
Ben Branson – Founder of Seedlip & Æcorn Aperitifs
Ben Branson is the Founder of Seedlip and Æcorn Aperitifs, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits and aperitifs. He gained inspiration from his family’s 300 years of North Lincolnshire farming heritage, and grew up alongside his two younger brothers, eights dogs, horses, rabbits and guinea pigs. Stoically a country boy, Ben now lives with his girlfriend and two dogs in a 15th Century cottage in the Chilterns, bringing his heritage with nature to the forefront of his new business venture.
With an industry respected branding and design guru father, Ben was quickly immersed into the working world of marketing and branding, completing work experience at the early age of 14 for the globally renowned spirit Absolut Vodka. This early glimpse into the dynamic design industry ignited his passion for storytelling and creativity. Leaving school at 18, Ben began a career working on some of the world’s biggest brands, before working full-time on Seedlip from December 2014.
Ben’s experience grew through the agency world, eventually seeing him set up his own brand design firm with two colleagues specialising in the luxury food, drinks and lifestyle sector, with the likes of Farrow & Ball, Nike and Soho Member’s Club, The House of St Barnabas as clients.
With a holistic understanding of the luxury lifestyle industry and an avid trend-mapper, Ben saw a huge chasm in the market place for the discerning consumer, a vast gap between alcohol brands and soft drink brands. Having worked across both sectors and gaining an important insight from clients such as Glenmorangie, Moet, Innocent and Twinings, to name but a few, Ben had the brainchild of Seedlip, a drink that is applicable for drinkers and non-drinkers alike, focusing on displacing the social stigma and sweet, unhealthy alternatives for those not drinking.
Harking back to his botanical and farming roots and being a keen cook, Ben was researching “Medieval Cottage Herb Gardens” which led him to the long-forgotten distilled non-alcoholic herbal remedies found in “The Art of Distillation” – published in 1651 and documenting an array of forgotten flavour profiles without sugars or artificial ingredients. Almost as if his life’s path had led him to this point, Ben married his family’s farming heritage, branding prowess and understanding of the luxury lifestyle market to create Seedlip.
Wanting to draw inspiration from his farming background, Ben came across the word Seedlip at The Museum for Rural English Life – a basket used to sow seeds – an item his family were using on their own farm over 300 years ago, making it a perfect fit for the name of his new brand. Family, heritage and innovation are words that really resonate with Ben, pushing boundaries and using old methods really excites him. Branson hopes to bring distilling, blending and ingredient sourcing home to the family farm as the expansion of the portfolio begins this year.
Ben is an avid collector of things, a hoarder by his own admission, and is always researching, developing and acquiring items for either his collection of over 3,000 vintage penguin books, Victorian children’s books, antiques, or his rapidly expanding taxidermy collection, spearheaded by the Seedlip Fox & Hare, which have unwittingly become Seedlip mascots. A keen artist, Ben further adds his “flare of Ben” at every touch-point by personally art directing Seedlip’s design and aesthetic. The fox and hare bottle illustrations represent Seedlip by illustrating all the individual ingredients of the complex blend on the label, bringing this whole personal journey full circle through the brand.
With offices in the Chilterns, Los Angeles and Sydney, Seedlip is now available in over 25x cities including New York, Barcelona, Shanghai & Singapore and served in many of the world’s most awarded bars, restaurants and hotels including 350x Michelin * Restaurants & 9/10 of the world’s best cocktail bars.
In January 2018, Seedlip announced plans for the launch of a new NA brand to complement the existing portfolio, and to help further grow the category of NA drinks. In December 2019, Æcorn Aperitifs was announced as the sister brand to Seedlip. Æcorn Aperitifs will be a stand-alone brand that occupies its own distinctive place within the NA landscape.
Ben was named as one of the Top 50 most influential people in food and drink by The Telegraph and awarded Young Achiever of The Year by The Drinks Business. He continues to pioneer the non-alcoholic category forward with the launch of Æcorn Aperitifs in Selfridges and The Savoy in May 2019.
Tom Beahon – Co-founder of Castore
The idea that led to Castore was sparked while Tom was still playing football for Tranmere Rovers; Beahon said he was amazed at the lack of truly high quality performance garments from the global sportswear brands who dominated the market. Whilst still playing competitive sport, the brothers started travelling to Italy in search of more technically advanced performance fabricsthat wicked sweat away from the body more quickly and kept athletes cooler and more comfortable during intensive training conditions. Once they had fabrics they were satisfied with, they found a Portugal based factory with specialist engineering expertise to create garmentsthat are scientifically proven to outperform traditionalsports apparel. Their vision for Castore was to build a British sportswear brand that competes on the global stage and through exceptional product and content, inspire all athletes to be the very best they can be. The name Castore is derived from the Greek mythology story of Castor and Pollux, two brothers who took on the mighty Zeus. The brothers originally ran the business from their parent’s garage in Merseyside, before the business expanded to its own offices in Liverpool city centre. Castore was initially funded by the brothers sporting career savings, credit cards and a Virgin Startup loan. As the business started to expand rapidly and as finance was not readily available from traditional banks, the brother’s parents were forced to remortgage their home to give the business the required growth funding. Since then, the business has brought on board a number of high profile investors including Arnaud Massenet, Robert Senior and Tom Singh. Castore’s first sales were made to professional and semi-professional athletes the brothers knew from their former careers who were looking for products to do extra training in that were lighter, more flexible and with superior sweat wicking than their team kit. This approach led to Castore quickly establishing brand recognition within elite sporting circles. The brand’s first advert used a slogan provided by one of Castore’s first ever customer reviews “The superior quality is undeniable”. As popularity for Castore’s lighter, more flexible, more durable products grew amongst professionals, a border range of athletes attracted by Castore’s British heritage and advanced engineering credentials started to wear the garments. Within a year of launch, Castore had built a loyal following amongst both professional athletes and more discerning amateur athletes who appreciated the brand’s unrelenting commitment to creating the highest quality sportswear in the world.
The brothers retain their Co-CEO roles and continue to run the businesses day to day operations.
Jeremy King – CEO and Co-founder of Corbin & King
Jeremy King was born in Somerset in 1954 and educated at Christ’s Hospital. He initially pursued a career in merchant banking but gave that up to go into catering, becoming Searcy’s youngest ever manager at the age of 21. Although headhunted to run a restaurant, wine bar and wine importing business, he soon returned to his passion for restaurants with the arrival of American restaurant Joe Allen in London, where he was Maître d’Hôtel.
Jeremy met Chris Corbin in the late 1970s and they have been business partners for nearly 40 years. Together, the pair have created some of the most iconic and highly-regarded establishments in London. Today, the group comprises The Wolseley, The Delaunay, Zédel, Colbert, Fischer’s, Bellanger and Café Wolseley, which opened in June 2018 and is the group’s first venture outside London. Corbin & King’s new restaurant, Soutine, will open in St John’s Wood at the end of April.
Prior to opening The Wolseley, Chris and Jeremy owned and managed some of London’s most famous restaurants, including Le Caprice (opened 1981), The Ivy (1990) and J Sheekey (1998), all as part of Caprice Holdings, which they sold in 1998, staying on as directors until 2002.
Jeremy was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to the hospitality industry and voluntary services to the Arts.
Dom Bridges – Founder of Haeckels
Dom Bridges is a former director of adverts; he became disillusioned by the production ethos of many of the companies he worked with, so he quit his job and moved with his family to Margate, where he became a volunteer beach warden. The seaweed he encountered on many of his beach walks and cleans was the inspiration for founding Haeckels in 2012. The brand was born in his kitchen, the aim being to create simple, hand-crafted skincare and fragrance products that showcase the abundance of natural ingredients from the surrounding coast, which in turn promote Margate’s heritage of healthy coastal living. Haeckels now employs 22 staff members and has recently opened Haeckels House, a brand new treatment space in Cliftonville, Margate.
Tom Marchant – Owner and Co-founder of The Black Tomato
Tom Marchant is an entrepreneur known for launching some of the fastest growing, award-winning brands in the luxury travel and lifestyle sector. He is owner and co-founder of The Black Tomato Group, parent company of the travel brands Black Tomato and Epic Tomato. Additionally, he oversees Studio Black Tomato, that provides experiential content creation, marketing, branding and strategy to destinations and leading luxury brands around the world. Tom regularly writes and speaks on trends and the future of the luxury travel and lifestyle industries at conferences around the world and was named young entrepreneur of the year by the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame. Tom and Black Tomato have been identified in the media by publications such as Vogue, The NY Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, CNBC, Esquire and GQ as leaders in shaping the future of the luxury travel and lifestyle industries.
Matthew Slotover – Co-founder of Frieze
Matthew Slotover founded frieze magazine with co-publisher Amanda Sharp in 1991, and was inaugural editor until 1998. In 2003 they started Frieze Art Fair in Regent’s Park London, which was followed by Frieze New York and Frieze Masters in 2012 and Frieze LA in 2019.
Matthew is chair of the South London Gallery board of trustees, and serves on the boards of Create and the Arts Foundation.
Caryn Franklin MBE – Fashion Commentator
Former fashion editor and co-editor of i-D Magazine (82-88) and BBC broadcaster for 15 years on prime-time programmes such as The Clothes Show, Style Challenge and many others, Franklin has explored the politics of image and self-esteem extensively over 37 years of fashion practice in commercial, educational and activist positions. Her projects have involved refugees in battle zones, workers in free-trade-zone slums, mental health experts, MP’s and government ministers as well as international design names, the fashion industry’s innovators and ordinary women in a personal styling capacity. She has written for magazines, newspapers and produced 4 books and authored many TV documentaries. She is a visiting lecturer and holds a variety of honorary fellowships as well as an honorary doctorate. She has co-created ground breaking campaigns and has been co-chair of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer since 1996 and co-founder and former director of the award-winning diversity initiative: All Walks Beyond the Catwalk 2009 – 2015. In 2013 Caryn received an MBE and in 2015 she completed an MSc in Applied Psychology to become Professor of Diverse Selfhood at Kingston School of Art.
Jonathan Moules – Writer at the Financial Times
Jonathan Moules has been a writer at the Financial Times since 1999. His first five years were spent in the newspaper’s New York bureau, where he was technology, media and telecoms news editor.
After returning to London, Jonathan took on the entrepreneurship beat, charting the challenges of running fast growing companies and profiling interesting founders. This led him to write a book on why the received wisdom about growing a successful company is often flawed, called The Rebel Entrepreneur.
For the last four years he has presented an FT podcast on entrepreneurship, called Start-Up Stories, alongside his job as business education correspondent.
Jonathan is an economics graduate from the University of Liverpool. His journalistic career has been interrupted only once, in 2007, when a botched home birth plan forced him to play midwife and deliver his middle child.
Helen Brocklebank – Chief Executive of Walpole
Helen Brocklebank is the Chief Executive of Walpole, the official sector body for UK luxury which counts more than 250 British brands in its membership and is dedicated to promoting, protecting and developing a sector worth £48 billion to the UK economy. Immediately before joining Walpole, Helen ran a content agency for luxury brands, but built her career – as well as her passion for British luxury – in publishing, working on Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE and other iconic media brands. In October 2017 she was named one of Harper’s Bazaar’s 150 Visionary Women.