Design

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13 Nov 2019

Alumnus Richard Joseph shares business journey with students

Alumnus Richard Joseph, founder and CEO of homeware company Joseph Joseph, visited campus on 12 November to speak with students about his career as an entrepreneur and designer.

Richard graduated in 1998 with a degree in Industrial Design and Technology and was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University in 2014.  He met with student entrepreneurs in the on-campus Start-Up Lab during the day, as well as meeting the current Dean of the School of Design & Creative Arts, Cees de Bont. 

Richard delivered a presentation to around 200 students, discussing the launch of the business, a range of houseware products, and challenges that he has faced along the way. Richard gave advice and top tips on how to start and grow a business before presenting an evening talk as part of the Personal Best: My Story series.

He talked about having a very focused business, starting off in the early 2000s with just four products. Richard and his twin brother Anthony concentrated on chopping boards and have kept to just a few categories of products ever since. Richard said: “you can do a lot more when focused on a lot less – especially in the early days”.

The pair realised a clear moment in their design strategy early on in their business – to solve everyday household problems. They have maintained their problem, solution mindset to create their products and have done so with great success. Richard continues to be motivated by the freedom to develop new and exciting products, with the team at Joseph Joseph working on tens of new ideas at any one time.

During his talk, Richard encouraged students to work hard, but equally to have a good time at university. Students were keen to hear about what steps to take when embarking on a career. He said: “The first job out of university is probably not the career for you. Try things out and if you don’t enjoy them, move on.”

The talk was delivered as part of the Careers Network “Personal Best: My Story” series, where alumni share their career journeys and top tips with students.