Most people dream about putting up their own business so that they can finally quit their job.
However, things don’t always work out as planned or they don’t follow through on it. But 27-year-old Ed Snelson, from Chester, Cheshire, managed to cash in on his dream and became a millionaire.
He first started his business at home in 2013 just right after he dropped out of university. He was selling personalized items that were crafted under the Love Island theme and they were a hit. Despite dropping out from school, Ed was accepted for an apprenticeship at Airbus although he came to the conclusion that the corporate path wasn’t for him.
Watch to find out more of his story below!
Video credit: Rumble
So he persisted with his business and it all paid off as his venture started earning over £1($1.2) million in sales annually.
Of course, Ed also has to thank the popularity of the show Love Island for the boom in his business.
Ed said: “I have quite high ambitions about what I want to earn, obviously having money does allow you to go on nice holidays and have nice clothes and cars but it’s not just about the material things, it’s the freedom money can buy.
“My business brings in seven figures a year, this year it will make £1.5($1.9) million and next year it will be £2.1($2.5) million.
“We do see references to popular culture coming through, things like reality TV definitely have an effect on what consumers want.
“A couple of years ago the demand to have your name on a plastic water bottle or makeup bag was first super high, popularized by Love Island, and at the time we got loads of orders for them.
“Now we sell personalized tote bags, makeup bags, PE bags for kids and all sorts of stuff. It’s really popular for things like hen do’s.”
Ed was at Liverpool John Moore’s University studying Business and Economics but spent only four months there before dropping out.
Following some pressure from his parents, Ed applied for a three-year-apprenticeship with Airbus for their supply chain and logistics department and was accepted despite being a dropout. It probably helped that he was a consistent A-student.
Still, Ed needed only a week to decide that working in a company wasn’t for him but he completed the three years despite having to precariously balance his corporate duties with the demands of his business, sometimes to the point of working 16-hour days.
However, Signature Printing was making Ed so much money that he never looked back after his apprenticeship with Airbus ended.
Ed said: “I have always wanted to be self-employed and dreamed of owning a business.
“It kind of started in school when I was 16 – every year the school ran a young enterprise project to give the students a taste of what it was like to run a business.
“I put myself forward as managing director and we created a business selling personalized hoodies and t-shirts.
“We ended up doing really well and making a few grand out of it. I thought ‘there’s something in this’ and knew that I could move forward with it.
“After school, I went down the traditional route and went to uni but I ended up dropping out four or five months later and got my apprenticeship with Airbus.
“There were only two of us who got onto the scheme out of hundreds of applicants but I knew only a few weeks into the apprenticeship that it wasn’t for me and that I wanted to get back to running the business and doing what I love.
“So I started Signature Printing while I was at Airbus in my bedroom at my parents’ house.
“I was coming home from an eight-hour shift at the company and doing another eight-hour shift until the early hours of the morning for my own company, processing orders and getting them ready for delivery.
“I was on an apprenticeship salary of £18,000($22,000) and I knew that if I stayed on at Airbus my salary would go up to about £26,000($32,000) but my business was already making more than that for me so I decided to walk away at the end of the three years, it made perfect sense.”
Despite now having enough money to enjoy a lavish lifestyle and visit a lot of places around the world, Ed remains humble and says that success is all about hard work. In fact, he would rather spend his time growing his business than going out to a pub.
He said: “There’s no secret to success, it’s hard work and commitment. That’s something I feel I have always known.
“If you want to go into business and have success at a young age it’s not going to be an easy journey.
“It’s going to take years of putting in hard work at a time when your peers are probably at university and partying or in the early stages of a career and not taking it seriously.
“I’m a very sociable person but I would happily sacrifice going out drinking to stay in and work to progress my business to the next level.”
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