Young entrepreneurs: Henry Patterson, Not Before Tea
This 13-year-old started his first business aged 10, and is also an author and keynote speaker – having shared a stage with Google and Facebook VPs
Name: Henry Patterson
Company: Not Before Tea
Starting his entrepreneurial journey at the tender age of nine, Henry Patterson’s children’s brand Not Before Tea produces a range of products such as bags, soft toys, nursery décor, and children’s books.
All themed around a story Patterson penned at the age of 10 called The Adventures of Sherb and Pip, the brand features animal characters including Pip the mouse, Vera vole and Bubbles the goldfish.
Having successfully pitched the brand, Patterson’s products are now available in over 60 UK stores and he has recently signed an animation deal to turn his book into a 12-episode cartoon.
While yet to conquer his GCSE’s, have a National Insurance number or be legally allowed to earn National Minimum Wage, Patterson is already teaching others how to run a successful start-up.
In March 2016, Patterson was a keynote speaker at Retail Week Live event at the 02 in London where he shared a stage with the vice presidents of Google and Facebook, and he has since been booked to speak at corporate events for brands such as Lego and Clarks.
Keen to mingle with industry heavyweights who share his love of retail business, Patterson has also interviewed business moguls such as Sir Richard Branson, Caprice, Michael Acton-Smith MBE and Dragons’ Den star Touker Suleyman.
While Patterson’s business success is awe-inspiring, starting and scaling a business at 13 years-old hasn’t been without its challenges:
“The challenge for me is the public reaction to my media coverage. People can make such horrible comments and I have learnt to be tough and ignore them.
“The other challenge is school! I can be on The One Show one day and then in a maths lesson the next. I wouldn’t swap it for anything though.”
So, what’s next for Patterson? Well, he tells us he’s on the verge of launching another brand – travel products for parents – which he hopes will “be global in five years” and, judging by his success already, we wouldn’t put it past him.