David Hicks


Travel inspiration

I travel a lot. 86 countries so far, and counting. I travel for fun, for my photography (www.hixposure.co.uk as a shameless self promotion) and for work. I travel because I think it’s the best education you can get, and I return appreciating my life even more. And travelling can increase your awareness so much more than your home territory, and I open myself up to new things. Now for sure, I’ve got excited by things, and bought the local … Read More »

Dealing with the big boys

I’ve gone on record before….never negotiate anything that you’re not afraid to walk away from ! Listen to what your customer requires, do your sums properly (not hopefully), read the supplier terms and conditions, and if you can’t do it, walk away and live to fight another day. It’s all too easy to get embroiled in your own ego of wanting to be associated with a multiple retailer, but you’re running a business and … Read More »

Top tips for designs…

Firstly, good design is quite often the simplest design. You can overthink it, and end up with something so complicated that it’s hard the understand. Designing by committee is one of the really well known offenders of complicated design, as too much input is not a help. Then, in my market, who will send or give the item, and in what circumstances? It’s quite an easy thing to consider if you’re honest with yourself. Don’t hold … Read More »


Oh, my favourite subject right now ! So let me get to the point. I voted to remain. Not because I thought England couldn’t be successful in it’s own right, but because we’d have to wade through an awful time just to get near where we used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I could right essays on why I hated the EU, and how badly it’s managed, but it didn’t take a genius to work out that we were better off within it. I have … Read More »

Catering for customers

I used to be a chef,sometime ago now. I started as a pot washer and general dogsbody, and ended up as a head chef. I’ve worked as a waiter, barman, maitre d, and now I’ve dined around the world at all levels. I must admit that I prefer to be a customer, but it still amazes me how many restaurants, cafes, hotels etc. just get things wrong. You can have the greatest food ever, but unless you give good service, you’ll never be anything. … Read More »


So I’m lucky enough to have had some very successful greeting card ranges in my time. Trouble is, like all things, some other people want a piece of the action too. It’s happened to me on several occasions, that people I have known, sometimes quite well, have decided to take key elements of what I had published, and published variations themselves. It’s particularly hard to take when it’s people you know and you realise that … Read More »

That smell of curry !

There is nothing quite like it. Well maybe fish and chips, but you know what I mean. It was a nice summers day, and we were in the warehouse trying to solve a mystery. It was a smell of curry coming from somewhere. We could not figure it out and kept going round in circles. Eventually (and I mean eventually) we stopped at three pallets of notebooks that were printed in India ! And yes, you guessed it, mystery solved. It still does my head in that … Read More »


It was 1996. I’d promised my recently employed sales manager my BMW if he hit certain targets. He did, so I had to be true to my word. I took him downstairs to the front of the building where I was parked, and gave him the keys. He was overjoyed. Little did he know I had the spare set in my pocket ! So, with a glint of mischief, every time he unlocked the car, I locked it again. This went on for a few minutes where I managed to convince him that … Read More »

Bust !

It was 1995. It was the Christmas period. We closed the office and I was having a holiday. I was travelling around Syria, which you could in those days, and was not easily contactable (no mobile phone, internet etc then). So the first I’d heard of my impending company disaster was late at night when I got home in the new year. There was a fax from Sarah, one of my staff. It simply read “Athena gone bust. Sorry.” I instantly knew the … Read More »