Mission Driven Entrepreneurs Episode 46 - Patrick Dudley-Williams of Reef Knots

Patrick Dudley-Williams of Reef KnotsRedundancy from his job of 13 years pushed Patrick Dudley-Williams into executing his idea of starting a business. Seeing a gap in the market for tie that 'said something about what you did outside of work'.

Not wanting to sit in a grey box looking at numbers for the rest of his life, Patrick decided it was 'now or never'. He took the plunge 2 years ago with the added pressure that his wife had twins 2 days after he was made redundant!

This year the business is on track to turnover £500,000 and opened it's first retail shop. With the added benefit that the ties are made in the UK, Patrick has very quickly been able to give back by selling a tie that gives 25% of the retail price to The Blue Marine Foundation - which promotes creation of marine reserves. This has attracted the support of Richard Branson, the ultimate non-tie wearer!

What you will learn in this interview:

  • The challenges of starting a retail brand
  • How he got Richard Branson to wear one of his ties
  • How he founded the company with just £20,000
  • The marketing he does to get people to find out about the brand


"The Lean Start Up", by Eric Ries

Favourite Quote

'You can't be brave if you weren't scared to start with'

Productivity hacks

Paper diary and 'to do' list


Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

Learnt everything on youtube!



Retail Shop: Reef Knots Ltd
40 Leadenhall Market

On Twitter: @reefknots

I really hope enjoyed the interview with Patrick . If you have any thoughts or comments about this episode, please do share them with us on Twitter or Facebook – we’d love to hear from you!

And finally, if you get a chance I would be hugely grateful if you could leave an honest review for The Mission Driven Entrepreneurs Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They're so important to the ranking of the show and I do read every one. If you've left one already, thank you so much!

Click here to open the show in iTunes where you can leave a review and you can also subscribe to get new episodes automatically.

Thanks again to Patrick for sharing his story with us.