Five Minutes with the Founder | Laurie Timpson, Managing Director, Savernake Knives

Over the next few weeks we’ll be meeting the founders of our 2019 Brands of Tomorrow, learning more about their young businesses and what makes them tick, and uncovering some of the secrets to their success so far. Today we meet Laurie Timpson, Managing Director, Savernake Knives.

Laurie returned to England in 2014 after a decade in the developing world. A slightly unusual career trajectory began with five years as an officer in the Scots Guards, three of them spent in Ulster at the tail end of the Troubles. Thereafter he variously set up emergency programmes in southern Sudan and Ethiopia, cleared landmines for the HALO Trust in Mozambique, Afghanistan and Cambodia, studied at the University of Cape Town, looked for gold in Liberia and ran a power station in Nairobi. He now lives off the grid in the Savernake forest with his wife and son, and is Managing Director of Savernake Knives.

WHAT DOES BRITISH LUXURY MEAN TO YOU?

Progressive heritage.

WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR SAVERNAKE KNIVES?

To demystify kitchen knives and to make hard-working, beautiful implements that cooks and chefs treasure and use daily.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

After an extended bout of being a difficult teenager, managing to reboot my outlook sufficiently to be admitted to RMA Sandhurst.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS? 

To achieve the aim.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?

Boss shotguns.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?

The creative freedom to implement a personal vision.

LEAST?

The risk of the personal vision not being much cop…

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST REGRET?

My father Nicko never meeting his grandson Nicko.

IS THERE ANOTHER BUSINESS OR A FOUNDER THAT PARTICULARLY INSPIRES YOU?  

Andrew Ritchie and Brompton Bicycles.

WHAT IS YOUR GUIDING PRINCIPLE?

Selection and maintenance of the aim.

WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE? 

Johnson Beharry.

WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVERUSE?

Rude ones, sadly.

WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?

My to-do list and mortality on a rotating basis.

WHAT DO YOU MOST VALUE IN YOUR FRIENDS?

Being able to catch up after a long period as if no time has passed.

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE STARTING UP THEIR OWN BUSINESS NOW? 

Come back and ask me in another couple of years when I know if my advice is any good!

GREATEST LUXURY UNDER £10?

Maldon Sea Salt.

www.savernakeknives.co.uk