What were you doing aged 8? Making mud pies? Kicking your sibling under the dinner table? Or starting your own chicken farm? No? Just Fraser then..
Okay, so what were you doing aged 14? On the Playstation? Still kicking your sibling under the table? Or on the verge of kickstarting your career? Can’t imagine many of you answered yes to the latter.
Fraser Doherty, or ‘JamBoy’ as he is known, spent his early teenager years creating sugarless jam in his parents kitchen. His inspiration came at around aged 14 when he started making jam with his grandma – but his drive came much earlier. After visiting a farm at aged 8 and using his TV as an incubator to hatch some chicks to start his own chicken farm, his passion for business was born. Since then he has taken off around the world, winning award after award, selling his condiments in places from Waitrose to South Korea.
“The most important thing is finding something that you love…something that excites you”
It started with selling jam to his neighbours but has continued to grow and grow, with honey and peanut spread being added to the ‘SuperJam’ family. Fraser has written multiple best selling books about his successes and recipes which are now printed in Korean and Japanese.
Fraser says, “As a kid I was always interested in starting my own business, I’m not exactly sure where it came from but I was always making things and selling things. I just loved the idea of creating something and trying to make my own career. I think a lot of the time people think they have to go and find their job and work for a company but I loved the idea of making my own job doing something my love.”
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for SuperJam, as he hit a bump in the road in his late teen years when pitching his idea to Waitrose. They loved the idea of 100% fruit jam and sent him off to design a jar, make new flavours and price up the product. When he returned after a year of hard work he was met with a resounding no. This didn’t knock Fraser and after going back to the drawing board he came up with a product that Waitrose were willing to take onboard. This was the beginning of his career, at aged 18.
“Definitely a great time to start a business or pursue your career is when you are young. I’ve been amazed at how happy and willing other entrepreneurs and other people in business have been to share what they’ve learned with me, give me advice and give me encouragement.”
Speaking at the University of Gloucestershire Future You week, he inspired students to always say yes to any opportunity that comes their way, make lots of friends and contacts who are doing similar things to you and try and start a business in the most simplistic way you can and then build it up from there.
Fraser gives us his opinion on Future You, “I think the event this week is fantastic, you know giving students advice on how to figure out what their skills are, how to develop those skills and hopefully get bits and pieces of advice from people like myself who may have started a business.”
Fraser continues, “I think the only piece of advice I would give to anybody is to not be afraid. I think a lot of people have a dream or an idea for a business or a career that they want to go into but are maybe afraid of asking people for advice or getting in touch with the dream company that they want to work for. Just do it. Don’t hold yourself back.”
Fraser is now entering a new business co-founding an already successful company, Beer52 with his friend and co-founder James Brown. A unique beer delivery service bringing craft beers from around the world to your doorstep.
Find out more about Fraser and his work here https://www.fraserdoherty.com/