Interview with Darren Leigh | Founder of Leighmans
Meet the industry experts making it Christmas every day with personalised promotional products.
Everyday is Christmas.
Leighmans provides promotional merchandise to companies so they can boost their visibility.
They are a multi-award winning UK-based company – twice named as a Distributor of the Year by BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) – and pride themselves on their high service levels and client retention rate.
Accounting and Finance at Manchester Metropolitan University
While I was at University I worked at Beaverbrook's jewellers. I went through their management development programme after university, there I got my NAG goldsmiths accreditation. I learned valuable lessons that I still use today!
I worked for a charity raising finance and protecting and defending the Jewish community. I’ve protected the likes of Bill Clinton and Shimon Peres at gala dinners with the various protection services.
Why did you start your business?
I started my business because it’s a great industry to be involved in, that puts a smile on peoples faces. My Dad has Parkinson's and Dementia, but he was always at his happiest during Christmas when giving out presents. I wanted to try to capture that feeling by making it Christmas every day!
Who is your mentor?
Definitely my Dad. He trained to be a barber, cutting company directors hair at 5 in the morning before board meetings. He met my mum, they got a flat and did it up, then sold it for a profit. He quickly became a property developer, and eventually an award-winning salesman for Bupa.
What is the most important event in your working life?
Joining my BNI business group a year and a half ago.
Does money motivate you?
I get far more satisfaction by helping people, whether that actually resulted in any financial gain or not. When you help someone, you actually help multiple people, you can’t replicate the buzz you feel from that.
Which person do you admire the most?
My Mum. The ferocity in which she loves her family and how she looks after us is incredible. How she looks after my Dad and carries on.
What is your favourite TV Series?
Game of Thrones.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leading by example. You can’t ask others to do something you’re not prepared to do yourself. You need to have balanced types of people around you. Treat people like humans.
How do you relax?
Once I finish work in the evening I enjoy watching TV, to take my mind off my work. Sports, including going on the spin bike. I support business groups, play Poker a couple of nights a week too.
What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?
I would love someone to have sat me down and taught me how to build relationships properly, rather than trying to sell.
Got any more questions for Darren? Get in touch and let us know! Make sure you visit him at Leighmans.com