I have always loved design and Industrial Design seemed like a great opportunity to combine all of the different aspects, in a practical approach. All the way through school I’d assumed I’d end up going to a big busy city for University, but the minute I visited Loughborough I knew that I couldn’t go anywhere else. I was in awe of the place!
Above the obvious skills I learnt on my course, Loughborough has broadened my horizons and given me a wide network of friends across the UK (and even further afield!) It allowed me to meet all kinds of amazing people from different backgrounds and cultures and perhaps most importantly gave me the opportunity to try out my ideas and test my entrepreneurial ability.
During University, I was Media Rep at Royce Hall. Working as part of the hall committee was a great experience and meant that I stayed in halls for two years. Being an integral part of hall life was really important and I’d recommend it to anyone. I produced the first Royce Hall magazine and learnt some very useful lessons in the process. In my last term at Loughborough I entered a business competition that was run in partnership with Charnwood Council. I won that competition and was awarded a rent-free office space near Loughborough train station. That allowed me to build up the business I had already launched, and I stayed in Loughborough for 12 months.
My course gave me some really valuable product development skills and a good grasp of manufacturing processes that have definitely helped me. However, I think the most important things I learnt at Loughborough were social and consumer awareness. I think that level of awareness has helped me to create the Candy Kittens brand.
I was introduced to Jamie Laing through a friend. Initially I was asked to help create a website and build the brand, but Candy Kittens soon became more than a client and Jamie asked me to take a full-time role as co-founder in the business.
Our aim is very simple; we want to be the best sweets company in the world. That means, having the best sweets, the best brand and the best retailers in the best locations.
For now we are focused on building a strong business in the UK. We want the Candy Kittens name to be synonymous with sweets and vice versa! After building a strong foundation in the UK I hope that we’ll be able to venture further afield and explore export opportunities. I hope one day, we’ll become a flag bearer for British style and taste!
Getting our sweets stocked with Waitrose (our first supermarket!) was a really pivotal moment. At that point, we knew people were starting to take us seriously. Funnily enough, I was in Loughborough when the Waitrose buyer called to confirm the deal - a lucky charm maybe?!
Made in Chelsea provided a fantastic marketing platform for us to launch the brand in the UK. That said we’ve always been very conscious of keeping the association at arm’s length. We want Candy Kittens to stand on its own feet. We’ve been a big hit with MiC viewers but equally we have lots loyal customers that have never watched the show.
Wherever I end up in the future, I want to continue building businesses from scratch. I’m fascinated by challenger brands and hope to continue working in environments that allow me to go against the grain - approaching a product or service with a completely different mind-set and challenging all the precedents set by the traditional players. I like breaking the rules!
Edward graduated from Loughborough University in 2011.