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Editorial blog

5 minutes with Hochanda’s Paul Charles Wright

15 Dec 2017

We catch up HOCHANDA’s chairman Paul Charles Wright to discover how the channel was launched, how failure is vital to success and what the next big thing in crafts will be.

Tell us a little about your job – how did you come to work in your industry and particular role?

I have been an avid crafter since childhood, so it’s no surprise I founded and launched Create & Craft TV shopping channel back in 2002. As a kid, I would wood-turn, knit, paint, and I was a dab-hand at DIY. I sold the business and retired but got bored and saw a huge worldwide opportunity thanks to the ‘internet of everything’ to bring crafts, hobbies and art to a new audience who might want to try something uniquely creative and satisfying. Inspiration, education, and variety hopefully delivered by other passionate creative people will inspire people to try different things and realise their own creative potential.

Describe the ‘lightbulb’moment when you decided to launch HOCHANDA.

When I saw that the internet undermines the challenge and huge cost of traditional linear broadcast TV. IPTV is the future and I believe a niche player that delivers live engaging interactive programming could present a great new business opportunity I could not miss!

What difficulties did you experience – if any – in launching the channel?

The biggest challenge was to create a new business model to mirror the best features of both Alibaba and Amazon and create a business ethos based on ‘family’ where all employed in the business, or supply, feel truly valued and appreciated.

What are the best and worst parts of your job?

The best is seeing employees, suppliers and customers truly valuing the collective experience! And the worst parts?! There aren’t any!

What excites you about crafts at the moment?

The possibilities (which are endless) but ultimately to have a positive impact on people’s lives. We see this whenever customers and suppliers meet in person at craft consumer fairs.

What do you think the next big thing in crafts is going to be?

If I knew that I would be a millionaire, however I see huge potential in soft crafts, art and mixed media.

What advice would you have for a company trying to become a HOCHANDA supplier?

Contact us – we always reply. If you have passion, and an innovative product – we are not judgemental. We will put you in front of our viewers and they, not a biased buyer, will tell you if you have a winner or not. Our motto is ‘you have to fail to succeed’.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

In the craft world … being an innovative entrepreneur with still enough left in the tank to still see an exciting future.

What books are on your night stand right now?

Dennis Wheatley and Stephen Hawkins.

If you could offer advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Success is a state of mind. There will be failure and disappointment but every cloud in my experience has a silver lining – look for it!

What do you do to recharge your batteries?

Nothing – the adrenalin rush from HOCHANDA right now fuels my energy. Retirement nearly killed me, and my golf handicap didn’t come down either.

What’s next for you and HOCHANDA?

Building an international business by creating a social platform where people who don’t know one another can find a common practical interest and stimulate each other to release and grow their individual creativity. AND of course, make a few bob along the way.

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