David Hieatt, Co-founder and MD of Hiut Denim and The Do Lectures
David Hieatt is an entrepreneur in the purest sense of the word. From Howies to Hiut Denim and The Do Lectures, David knows how to build a business well. His expertise lies in creativity, fashion, business agility and teamwork. The Hiut Denim Co manufactures the first pair of jeans in the world to incorporate a thing called a HistoryTag. It lets you attach memories of where you went and what you did in them to the jean via the Internet. So, one day if those jeans get handed down or end up in a second-hand shop, the memories will go with them too. David wanted to share his business expertise with the world, so he started The Do Lectures, a platform for ideas sharing. Starting with 30 speakers, over the two sites (Wales and California), it was voted into the top ten ideas festivals in the world by the Guardian. The talks have been watched millions of times online.
1:00 — David introduces himself, describing his two businesses, Hiut Denim and The Do Lectures.
1:36 — David details the origins of Hiut Denim and the history behind the company.
3:58 — David explains how the internet made it possible for him to start Hiut Denim.
4:42 — David describes the process of starting a factory. He outlines strategy and explains where they found funding. He highlights the important of investors who can offer advice.
8:14 — David reveals the difficulties of beginning a new business. He explains how success had a negative impact when production began. He goes on to recount the positives that emerged from this crisis.
13:53 — Alan and David discuss the value of having a sense purpose in difficult times.
15:00 — David describes how he deals with a sense of defeat, and the importance of team spirit.
17:20 — Alan asks David about the rate of growth of the business after the initial few years. David replies by explaining the company’s ethos towards growth. He highlights the company’s ambition to lessen their impact on the planet and how they approach growth with this in mind.
20:57 — Alan and David discuss traditional company goals. David expands on the advantages of not following traditional forms of growth but instead focusing on influence.
25:40 — David describes that values of “small wins” within a team.
27:56 — David imparts some statistics around the company’s growth. He explains why he prefers slower growth.
30:23 — David describes the aims, ambitions and hopes he has for the future of the company.
32:05 — David explains how he changed the company culture from quantity-focused to quality-focused production.
35:10 — Alan and David discuss the importance of a company culture and the positive impacts it can have.
36:54 — Alan asks David how close the company is to the goal of employing 400 workers. David responds by outlining the growth of the company, and his anticipations for future growth to be able to attain this goal.
38:30 — David describes how he manages his time and where he invests his time to develop the company. He explains the beneficial impact that trusting his employees to manage their time and work load efficiently has on his own time management.
43:34 — David outlines the innovative ideas he has for developing products, describing the environmental impact jeans have on the environment and the issues he wants to overcome.
46:00 — Alan and David discuss the potential innovations for jeans ordered online.
48:11 — David shares his learnings, highlighting the importance of hiring the right people. He advises listeners to actively continue learning.