Paper’s big business, we all know that. But did you know that our buddy Julian Townsend of Denmaur Papers sells £110,000,000 worth of paper a year? That’s a whole lot of trees.
Don’t worry though; even though this paper mogul prefers #TreeBooksNotEBooks, he assures us that plenty are planted to sustain stationery addictions worldwide. Today we’re going to find out a bunch of cool stuff, including what Julian thinks is the biggest challenge to the paper industry, learning a top #TimesavingTip, and just how much he loves his family. Aww! All in all, this guy gets 24 thumbs up from us. So without further ado, let’s hear from the go-to man of paper himself.
#1. So Julian, what’s your most favourite word?
It’s got to be ‘hello!’ Because you never know what could happen.
#2. What gets you up in the morning?
You’ll like this one. Workload! Leftovers from the day before always get me up.
#3. What do you truly, honestly think of social media?
I think it’s a very exciting opportunity for everyone. It’s going to be very interesting to see what it’s like in 20 years’ time. Even I use social media!
#4. Kindles or books?
Without hesitation. Definitely books. Magazines are still fairly resilient but you can get all of your news on a tablet these days. There’s something to be said for handling a physical book though. #TreeBooksNotEBooks is my motto.
#5. What do you think is the biggest challenge to your industry right now?
From our side it’s definitely consolidation. I don’t know how deep you want to go on this but it’s consolidation of the manufacturing and consolidation of the customers. It’s basically a shrinking market.
#6. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A racing car driver (laughs).
#7. What led you to your current career?
A neighbour. When I was about 14, a neighbour was in his 30’s, had a lot of money, wasn’t married and had several girlfriends… at the time I thought that ticked all the boxes. I wanted to do what he did and he sold paper! I ended up having his job when I was 30 myself. Unfortunately he was paid a lot more than I was making by the time I got there. Sod’s law.
#8. Can you use your favourite word in a sentence?
Hello, does paper excite you?
#9. Can you make it rhyme?
Hello, do you know how to play the cello? It makes me mellow.
#10. Very good. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would recommend networking earlier and more widely. You realize you can start a lot younger than you did. I’d also tell myself to recognise opportunities more. You can sail right past a great opportunity due to inexperience. I don’t know how you’re supposed to get that experience but it’s important to watch out for.
#11. What’s the best thing anyone’s ever done for you?
My wife Tracy for giving me children. They’re much better than paper (although I do love paper)! Paper pays for the children…
#12. Tell us, what’s been your ‘career defining moment’?
Absorbing the loss of a £1,800,000 contract and still managing to smile.
#13. If you won a big award of some kind, who would you thank?
Tracy again for supporting me; I’ve been terrible! I have been known to go out to work at 5:00am and come home at 10:00pm, we’ve had two kids, moved houses, arrived late for holidays and all sorts of things. I couldn’t have done it without her, she’s been such fantastic support.
#14. Can you give us a timesaver of the day?
Get up early. Every hour before 9am is worth two after.
#15. Where do you see your industry in 24 months?
I think that the industry will continue to consolidate, so being the best in our field will be even more important than it is now. As for me, I hope to be on a beach somewhere!
#16. Where were you 24 months ago?
The same place I am now but with a slightly less smart smartphone!
#17. What’s an interesting fact about your company?
Well, Denmaur Papers is a private company in a mature industry but we still sell £110m worth of paper per year. Let me do the maths… that’s 190,000 tonnes; 7,600 lorries’ worth of paper.
#18. If you could have a Skype chat with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
You won’t know him… Phil Lynott, the lead singer of Thin Lizzy in the 70’s. He’s one of the most natural frontmen of any band you’ve ever seen. I’d rather have 24 minutes in a bar with him though!
#19. What’s one word you’d want people to describe you with?
I would hope ‘Tenacious’.
#20. Would you mind keeping a tenacious grip on our camera and taking a selfie?
Can I say no? <Photo>
#21. What’s your favourite Twitter Handle?
#22. What’s one quote that defines your work ethic?
A client once said of me, “You should speak to Julian about paper – if you cut him in half it reads ‘paper’ (like a stick of seaside rock).” And it’s stuck!
#23. What’s been the best part of your day?
It really has been seeing 24fingers!
#24. *Blushes*. And finally, anything to plug?
Any readers wishing to take advantage of a free paper audit send them my way! @DenmaurPapers