Classlist talks to Tom Longrigg, a Dragon and Canford Parent, about how he is combining raising a family and running a thriving business.
Q1: What is your business and why did you set it up?
The New England Shutter Company distributes and installs internal, plantation style shutters in residential homes and businesses right across the south of the UK. I set the business up because I felt there was a gap in the market and a real opportunity for a quality product like ours.
Q2: What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I decided to become an entrepreneur quite early on in my working life and a big part of this decision was a desire to do lots of different things in my working life! I also really like the flexibility that comes with being my own boss.
Q3: What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
Definitely having the freedom to organise myself! My wife has a full time job and so my flexibility has been really important for us over the years. It has also meant that that I have had lots of time to be involved with my children’s lives and so see them growing up. I have particularly happy memories of standing on the touchline and watching my three children playing for their school teams.
Q4: Why did you locate your business in this area? What do you like about it?
I was born and brought up in Oxford and I still have lots of relatives who live in the city. Even though I have moved away Oxford is my home town and it feels familiar.
Q5: What memory do you have of your own school days?
I have many happy memories of my school days here in Oxford. I made many life-long friends and even went into business with one of them in 1989!
Q6: What do you like about supporting your local school community?
I like the idea that my sponsorship is helping to support a tool which is helping parents to connect with each other and form friendships. At the end of the day I feel that having an engaged and involved parent community is a really important thing and Classlist is making this happen.