Startups

Published: July 10, 2022 | Updated: July 10, 2022

‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life – and that’s how it feels to me’

Joe Hayes, Director, Kindful Creative: “It’s the sheer variety of work which is so enjoyable.”
By Andrew Diprose, editor

“I’m just proud to do what I love every day.”

So says Joe Hayes, Director of Kindful Creative Ltd.

He’s successfully turned his hobby into a living, despite only taking up photography, and buying his first camera, six years ago.

But now his business – specialising in videography, photography and social media – is fast gathering pace with an impressive array of clients.

For Joe, who turns 30 this month, it’s a dream come true.

He said: “When I’m behind my camera I’m literally in my own little bubble.

“There’s a saying: ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

“That’s how it feels like to me.

“I’m working very hard but I get massive amounts of joy from it.”

Joe demonstrated his entrepreneurial skills at an early age.

From selling his Mum’s cupcakes to fellow pupils at St Michael’s Middle School in Colehill at the age of 13, before switching to cans of coke and chewing gum at Corfe Hills Upper School, his zest for business was soon apparent.

He comes from an Italian heritage and cites both his nonno – Italian for grandfather – and his dad, Frank Hayes, who has his own business, South Coast Pest Control, founded in 2012, as role models.

But before diving into the entrepreneurial world himself Joe decided to follow the accountancy route.

He worked for several companies before joining Poole-based Inspire Professional Services in 2013, qualifying as a chartered certified ACCA accountant three years later.

Before leaving the firm, which was sold to Azets this year, he was a Client Services Manager, looking after the needs of 120 clients.

Kindful Creative was incorporated as a limited company last July but Joe only started working full-time in the business this year after completion of an eight-month accountancy contract.

Married to Holly since October 2020 – and with a three-month-old daughter Rosabella, pictured right – he admits the pressure is on.

He said: “I’m working as many hours as I can to get the work in. It’s solid graft.

“There is a pressure now that I have never felt before.

“All my photography is self-taught and I’ve always been very honest with people about that.

“There are lots of opportunities but it’s also a very saturated market which is why you’ve got to swing a different angle and try and stand out.

“In my case, that’s by building really close relationships with my clients.

“It’s the sheer variety of work which is so enjoyable.

“One day I may be shooting on a 83-foot yacht and the next day at Oulton Park on a racetrack, getting completely covered in grease.

“It really is a case of no one day being the same.”

Clients include British Touring Car driver Bobby Thompson, Dawsons/Bang & Olufsen of Bournemouth, The Curry Guys and Simone Thomas Wellness.

So far Joe has invested around £12,000 in equipment.

He’s also hoping to secure his licence to operate drones in the near future.

Joe said: “I’ve been incredibly inspired, and helped along my content journey, by my close friend and local landscape photographer, Jack Lodge.

“His work is just beautiful.

“I’m meeting the most incredible people and working with some really great clients.

“When people know that my background is accountancy, they’re sometimes pretty surprised and say: ‘How can you possibly do something so different?’.

“But it does mean I understand the numbers behind my business and I’ve also done some credit control in the past which could be useful.

“I just feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do something I genuinely love.

“It’s just me and my camera and that feels so good.”