Happy Birthday! Interview with MD Daniel Plewman

Happythreads founder and MD Daniel Plewman has been the force and the face behind Happythreads since it began. We thought you might like to get to know him a little so we’ve asked him some questions about starting and running the business.

Tell me a little about how Happythreads started.

As a former Construction Engineer, I found myself unemployed, on the dole and looking for ideas in 2009. My wife (a dentist) was buying koi scrubs in the US and getting them shipped to Ireland via a friend, she contacted Koi and enquired if there were any distributors in UK or Ireland as she loved the scrubs. They didn't at that time but asked her if she knew any. I saw an opportunity & I registered a business as a distributor of Healthcare Uniforms and business began from a small spare room in Inner City Dublin.

What are some of the high and low points of the past ten years?

Going to work every day is a high point (98% of the time!), I find losing a customer a low point, fortunately it doesn't happen very often.

What is something that didn’t expect to end up learning from Happythreads?

That I could continuously get up at 5.15AM

Tell me a bit about the culture you try to promote at Happythreads.

If you work hard and are kind amazing things will happen.

What do you consider your biggest achievement over the past 10 years?

Growing from just me in the spare room to having a big team of fantastic people in Happythreads.

How do you balance running a business & family time?

I’ve got a lot better at this; when I started the business I worked 18 hour days 7 days per week, there was no money to pay myself a salary for 3 years.  As the business grew so did my family and we now have three energetic children. 

A few years ago I found myself in a hospital HDU with wires coming out everywhere. After describing my lifestyle a doctor told me that I was not superman (that hurt) and that I needed to reassess my lifestyle and take better care of myself. 

I have taken simple steps like removing work emails from my phone, so that downtime with my family is free from stressful distractions. Weekends are sacred and I almost always see my kids every day.

Who is your business inspiration?

Anyone who can run a business and go on holiday without a laptop!

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting a business?

You need to be 100% convinced that your idea will work and turn the negative energy of the doubters into positive determination

What are you excited for in Happythreads’ future?

Change, including entering new markets and launching new products.

How do you imagine yourself and Happythreads in another 10 years?

Happythreads will be known as a great place where happy staff = happy customers. I don’t think I will ever retire but maybe I will be less involved in the day to day operations.


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