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Talk Straight | Think Smart with Howard Kennedy

Talk Straight | Think Smart with Howard Kennedy

Welcome to our podcast series Talk Straight | Think Smart with Howard Kennedy. Join host, Lydia Christie, for behind-the-scenes insights from inspirational entrepreneurs and their businesses.
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Ever wondered how an entrepreneur knew when to take a chance on their idea? Or how they grew their business? In this podcast series, we've invited a range of business owners and founders to tell their stories first-hand.

Our lawyers are the sounding board for business owners making those big decisions day-in-day-out. We wanted to share with you the library of stories we've built over the years with some of the UK's best-known brands and businesses. 

Throughout this series, you will hear the stories behind inspirational entrepreneurs and growth businesses. You'll hear their business insights, the challenges they faced and how they overcame those obstacles - including COVID-19.

This podcast series is being recorded in early 2021 in the middle of the third lockdown and as the vaccine rollout starts to give that glimmer of hope. In the interviews, we hear how our inspirational guests have navigated the onset of this global pandemic and what the "next new normal" looks like for them.

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Bravery. Imagination. Purpose. Some of the key themes from our guests. I love hosting this podcast series – getting to hear their stories and why they do what they do.

Lydia Christie
Legal Director and host


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Ashlee Jane, Founder of The Suffolk Nest.

S2. E6. Ashlee Jane

When Ashlee Jane started her Instagram account, she never imagined it would lead to creating a successful business. But after building a large online community, who were interested in her floristry arrangements and tips, she took the plunge and The Suffolk Nest became a reality.


S2. E5. Dan Warne

With a five-year stint as MD of Deliveroo under his belt, Dan Warne has a deep understanding of the food and drink sector. But it's his passion for the music industry that inspired him to reimagine the UK food scene and start his own business, Sessions.


Dan Warne, CEO & Founder of Sessions.
Charlotte Ferguson, Founder of Disciple.

S2. E4. Charlotte Ferguson

From experimenting with ingredients in her kitchen, to being stocked by Cult Beauty and John Lewis, Charlotte Ferguson's skincare business Disciple has gone from strength to strength since it was founded in 2018.


S2. E3. Chris Forbes

By putting "purpose over profit" Chris Forbes, Co-Founder of The Cheeky Panda, found that by doing the right thing, money follows. Focusing on being socially conscious has led to incredible growth for his business.

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Chris Forbes, founder of Cheeky Panda.
Hannah Rhodes with beehive and Hiver beer.

S2. E2. Hannah Rhodes

How did a beekeeping experience on the top of Tate Britain lead to a new business? With experience and passion for beer, and a new found interest in bees, Hannah Rhodes came up with an idea to bring them together.

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S2. E1. Chris Penn

For Chris Penn, an enforced work experience at school turned into a career spanning more than 25 years in the hotel industry. But even since the early stages of his career, Chris felt there was scope for the industry to do better.

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Chris Penn sitting on a hammock in the summer.
Lydia Christie and Adam Walford

S1. E6. Talk Straight | Think Smart with Howard Kennedy: series one recap

After hosting the first series of our Talk Straight | Think Smart podcast, what did Partner Adam Walford think were the key ingredients needed to create a successful entrepreneur? A strong work ethic, bravery, confidence and imagination. Find out why by listening to this recap episode.

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Headphones and audio wave on yellow background.

VIDEO | Serena Rees, Entrepreneur and Founder of Agent Provocateur and Les Girls Les Boys

Serena Rees was just 26 when she co-founded the luxury lingerie label Agent Provocateur in 1994. Now Serena's back with new underwear-meets-streetwear label, Les Girls Les Boys.

Click play to find out about Serena's inspiration and how she overcame challenges as her businesses expanded.  Hear about the differences in the way a brand is marketed today, and the importance to be versatile and adapt to move with the times.

VIDEO | Jo Fairley, Founder of Green & Black's 

We kicked off our series with the fantastic Jo Fairley, the founder of Green & Black’s, and even had time to ask her a few questions afterwards.

Find out why Jo started Green & Blacks, what makes it unique and top tips for those starting up their business. Jo also tells us what she looks for in an employee and in her experience what employees look for from a company. 

To hear Jo's definition of an entrepreneur and answers to all of the above, click play to watch the video.