F E AT U R E The Price of success AS THE FIFTH GENERATION OF ONE OF LICHFIELD’S OLDEST FAMILY FIRMS, JAMES PRICE HAS HAD TO PROVE HIS WORTH IN THE BUSINESS WORLD. HE CHATS TO AMY NORBURY ABOUT HIS ROLE IN CONTINUING THE ARTHUR PRICE LEGACY JAMES PRICE IS THE FIFTH GENERATION TO JOIN THE LICHFIELD FAMILY BUSINESS Making your mark a young, up-and-coming business brain and earning a plum role at an established firm which is a leader in its field is never an easy task. Even more pressure, then, when you’re joining Lichfield’s world-renowned cutlery business Arthur Price - and your surname, too, happens to be Price. Following in the footsteps of his father Simon, James Price is the fifth generation of Prices to have a pivotal role in the family firm, which was founded by James’s great-great-grandfather, the namesake Arthur Price, in 1902. “It’s always been a bit of a lifestyle for me,” says the 30-year-old. “I can remember being three or four years of age and running around the warehouse on a Saturday with Dad. “From about 14 to the age of 19 in the summer holidays I’d be working in the warehouse, packing boxes and earning a few quid here and there.” While his sister Tori and younger brother Harry have pursued other career paths, even from a young age James always dreamed of joining the family firm. However, his father was always adamant that he had to earn his place. “It was never given to me on a plate,” James explains. “Dad’s always had a big belief that, when you come into a family business - just like he did, and my grandfather did - you have to prove yourself beforehand both academia-wise and experience-wise, and that you have to work your way up. You can’t just walk in.” So James gained his business degree from Sheffield Hallam University, which was - at the time - the best business school in the UK, before carving his own success in the business world, setting up an events and marketing business in Birmingham with a friend. “We specialised in conversational marketing, doing everything nightlife work and corporate events, shop launches to big-scale leafleting for festivals,” says James. “It was incredible and it gave me a great insight into the things you need to be responsible for when you’re running a business.” James made it clear to his business partner from the outset that his future lay elsewhere. And after two years at the helm of his own company, in November 2013 he was given the opportunity by dad Simon to come into the Arthur Price business - going from being the director of his own business to starting at the bottom of the family firm. “People don’t want an upstart coming in, just because your second name is Price; you’ve got to work hard and gain respect,” James says. “So I started off in the warehouse, again packing boxes and working in the dispatch area, working my way up to become dispatch manager.” After some 18 months in the warehouse, James moved into the sales office, taking on some of the mammoth amount of admin work involved in running a business on the scale of Arthur Price, getting to grips with the different customer bases and the logistics of placing orders. With international trade being a significant part 28
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