As the anticipation grows for the fifth series of the hit E4 reality show Made In Chelsea, one of its main stars, Jamie Laing, has come out to say how he uses the show to his advantage in the business world!
Like many other reality stars, for the MIC crew the TV show they appear on is a secondary income/career in their lives. However, unlike the beauticians and club promoters of The Only Way Is Essex, Made In Chelsea is mainly made up of successful entrepreneurs’ diamond dealers and general parent-funded socialites, making them some of the richest kids in the country, with or without the cameras.
Jamie Laing, who is heir to the McVitie’s biscuit fortune, recently joined the ranks of the self-employed as he embarked on a new sweet shop enterprise, Candy Kittens, telling the Daily Mail at the time of its grand opening:
“I have wanted to open my own candy shop since I was about eight years old,
“Candy Kittens was inspired by the clothes shop Abercrombie & Fitch. All their staff are beautiful people, so I thought, “Why not do the same with a sweet shop?”
Admitting at the time of opening that he had to borrow most of the funds from loans as his piggy bank guardian wouldn’t raise his allowance, it seems that his sugar cane dreams weren’t without stature as the shop, situated in the highly prestigious Kind Road, is actually doing rather well, and now he has opened up to LondonLovesBuisness.Com about how it all came about.
“We have been very lucky in a sense in that due to the show, I got the huge buzz around Candy Kittens. I launched on a night that an episode also came out and had a very friendly factory in Leicester. We said, “look we don’t want to buy stock because we have no idea of the orders, could we get the orders in first and then give you that?” and the owner said fine. We got something like £25,000 on the first night in turnover.
“From there on, we had such a good relationship with the factory owner that we could just say “here are the orders”.
“I haven’t had to raise that much capital until we did this Harvey Nichols deal. Fortunately I’m in a great situation where because of my background and thanks to my parents, I have been left a little bit of money with which I can fund the business. I personally invested and have had no other help; I’ve done it completely on my own.”
However, he admits that being one of the stars of Made In Chelsea hasn’t done the shop any harm:
“I joined the show from the second season, when the producers didn’t understand how big it was going to be. They didn’t know how big they could make certain companies featured on it. Before I went on the show, I thought “right I’m going to promote my business”, which I did in the second and third season and made it huge. Now what they’ve done is they have cut down and you can’t do any business on the show or they want a piece of it. I was very lucky and got in before that.
“I used the show first because I wanted to go into presenting and secondly for business.
If you don’t go into the show and have a mind-set of what you want to do, if you go into it and just want to be a reality star and look like a d*ck – sure! But I think you have to have credibility and a bit more meat to that.
“Everyone goes on the show because they’d have an inkling of what it’s going to be like and that fame would be fun. There are going to be a few people who don’t do anything but go to different events and get paid for it and promote the show whereas there are a small few of us who go on the show to promote a business.
“Ollie Proudlock who is also on the show… he is just upstairs! We work together. You have Francis, me, Proudlock and Amber who has actually left the show who do our own stuff.
And who has inspired him to launch his own sweet shop, you may ask?
“Hugh Hefner is a big idol of mine. I’ve got three idols, Peter Pan, Willy Wonka and Hugh Hefner. Two of them are real as well…! Those are my three idols and I love Hugh Hefner because he has always stayed young. If you stay young, you stay fresh, you stay original and you understand what is going on around you.”
With regards to future projects, Jamie explained that he had wanted to get into presenting, but that he feared he was too posh:
“When I wanted to go into presenting, I have a great friend whose mum is very high up in Sky TV and I said ‘can you help me in presenting and get me onto TV shows?’
“She said the problem was I was too posh and ‘no one can relate to you’. I said, “What do you mean I’m too posh?”
“And she said, “If no one knows who you are and you appear on the telly and you’re a posh young boy, no one will like you. But if you get some sort of profile then they realise you are like that and it’d be fine.”
“I think people now know what I’m actually like so it’s ok.”
The fifth series of Made In Chelsea is due to air this spring. Watch the Candy Kittens Christmas advert in the clip below: