Jack Brooks was among the winners at the first ever Entrepreneur Wales Awards, sponsored by Business Wales, Welsh Government, on Thursday, picking up the 'Retail Entrepreneur of the Year' award.
The 27-year old is the founder of Pieces to Places, a furniture and homeware store based in North Wales, the product of a lifetime’s passion for design and architecture.
Raised in Gwynedd in North Wales, Jack followed up successful completion of his A-levels with working abroad in France, Australia and Germany. His appreciation for design aesthetics turned his attention to furniture and interiors.
Upon moving back to Wales he began work with his father’s construction company, specialising in plastering and tiling, and he soon made steps towards establishing his own interior design firm.
In September 2014, the flagship store of Pieces for Places opened its doors, while the website was launched in January 2015. The second store in Barmouth opened in the summer, and the firm is going from strength to strength.
The Retail Entrepreneur of the Year award recognises achievement in the world of retailing and/or e-commerce, the winning businessperson demonstrating success in strategy, marketing, sales growth and customer feedback.
We asked Jack to comment on what the award meant to him. He said: "It means a lot to win the award because it’s not about myself, even though I started the company. I’m part of a very small team and we’ve all worked incredibly hard over the last twelve months to create something special which, to be honest, in the town where we live was quite a big dream. This [award] is a sign that we’re going in the right direction and that we’re going to achieve everything that we set out to achieve.”
When asked why Wales is a great place to do business, Jack said: “There were a lot of negatives setting up in the very small community where I live. But when I did the SWAT analysis, all of our weaknesses turned out to be our strengths. When you do something well in Wales, people soon hear about it and that has paid dividends for us and our marketing; word-of-mouth means everything to us and we’re doing something good. That spreads and everyone hears about it.”