Today’s guest is the environmental entrepreneur, Kresse Wesling MBE, who is quite simply, one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met.
Kresse is the co-founder of the award-winning business Elvis and Kresse, who turn industrial waste into innovative, luxury products and return 50% of their profits to charities related to the waste that they use.
It was a chance meeting with the London Fire Brigade in 2005 that gave Kresse the idea that ultimately become the business she runs today.
At the time, the London Fire Bridgade sent all of their decommissioned fire hose to landfill and Kresse thought that there had be a better way to reuse and recycle it. This led Kresse and her partner Elvis – hence the brand name – to launch Elvis & Kresse.
Since founding the business Elvis and Kresse has gone from strength to strength. From their origins using reclaimed firehose they now work with 12 different waste streams, have several charitable partnerships and are involved with collaborations across industries. This includes a unique partnership with the Burberry Foundation to turn Burberry’s off cut leather into stunning bags and accessories.
In recognition of the incredible work she has done, she was awarded an MBE and was named Cartier’s Women in Business Laureate in 2011. She has advised global brands, governments and recently sat on a judging panel with Will I Am from the Black Eyed Peas!
In this episode we cover a range of fascinating topics including:
- Kresse’s childhood and why she decided to leave home at 16 to attend collage half way around the world in Hong Kong.
- How Elvis and Kresse started the business and the challenges that they had to overcome in their early years.
- Kresse’s philosophy on building a team and her approach to hiring great people.
- And the importance of the circular economy and why it is critical to your business’s long term success.
It was a lucky encounter with her partner Elvis on a train back after a rugby match many years ago that led to me getting to know Kresse and hearing about their inspiring story and unique mission, played a big role in me setting up JBM almost 7 years ago. She was also the first person I asked to join our board of advisors and has been a brilliant confidante and mentor to me over the years.
So if you’re thinking about launching your own business or want to know how you and your firm can achieve profitable growth that also helps the environment then you’re going to love this interview.
If you want to find out more about Kresse you can check out her LinkedIn profile - https://www.linkedin.com/in/kresse-wesling-mbe-0933646/
If you want to find out more about Elvis and Kresse you can check out their website - https://www.elvisandkresse.com/
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