James Middleton is heading up a firm that makes personalised marshmallows.
The idea is that people get their favourite pictures from Instgram printed onto soft, fluffy marshmallows in edible ink.
The company that the young entrepreneur has been appointed director of is called boomf – apparently that’s the sound the marshmallows make when they drop through the letterbox.
Marshmallows served with hot chocolate at places like Costa Coffee and Starbucks have become popular in recent years.
And it was certainly a clever PR move getting someone with Royal connections involved – James being the sister of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
A quick Google search shows just how much media coverage it generated.
Though at £9 for a box of nine they’re definitely not for me. I don’t even use Instagram – and neither do 90% of my friends and family.
Perhaps boomf will do well. They already have a loyal following.
Though what was most surprising among the stories about boomf was that James’s own company, Nice Cakes, made a loss for two years running.
Nice Group London Limited lost £21,148 for the 12 months to March 2013, while it lost £19,928 the year before. It also owed £35,951 to creditors.
With all his connections and family wealth, it seems staggering that the brother-in-law to the future King was unable to turn a profit.
If he had bought a box of old books off eBay for a few quid and sold them to friends or at a car boot sale for 50p each he would have been in profit.
It could have made about a tenner.
That’s £10 more profit than Middleton made with his firm.
Sell those books every week at two different car boots and it’s £80 profit. Add a market stall in the week, and a couple of online shops into the mix and it’s starting to look a little more lucrative.
In my mind, that makes somebody who buys, for example, a rusty old bike for £5 and sells it for £10 a more successful businessman. Others will disagree. And they might be right.
James put the losses down to ‘overheads needed to start a company’.
Quite why people insist on spending tens of thousands of pounds in loans and their own savings to get a new business off the ground is unfathomable.
It’s far better to graft from the ground up, counting every penny and re-investing the profits back into the business for it to grow.
He would have been better off with a market stall in Croydon.
However, flogging old books on a wet Sunday morning doesn’t quite have the same degree of glamour when hob-nobbing with socialites and public-school pals in London.